Gel hand sanitiser has become a popular product over the past few years, with most of us keeping one in our handbags, at our desk or in the car.


But shocking research emerging from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more children are becoming ill from drinking hand sanitiser, and some may even be doing so on purpose. 


While it's presumed younger children ingest the sanitiser by accident, older children may be consuming it for its alcohol content, according to the researchers.



The research examined illnesses among children aged 12 and under, from 2011 to 2014. Over 70,000 cases of ingestion were reported during this period.


"Older children (aged six to 12) were more likely to report intentional ingestion and to have adverse health effects and worse outcomes than were younger children, suggesting that they might be deliberately misusing or abusing alcohol hand sanitizers," the research team revealed.


However, the most cases occurred in children under five, most of which are deemed to be accidental. Cases of ingestion continue to be high following previous research from 2005 to 2009.


The use of gel hand sanitisers in American schools may be linked to this high rate.



Ingesting hand sanitiser can lead to serious health problems such as include breathing difficulties, excessive acid build-up in tissues, and even seizures and coma.


The researchers recommend using soap, water and an effective hand-washing routine as the safest way to clean your children's hands at home.


If you use gel hand sanitiser, always keep it out of the reach of children and supervise them if they need to clean their hands with it.



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