Child, 5, hospitalized after taking hand sanitizer from primary school teachers because student licked hands
- A 5-year-old child was hospitalized on Monday after taking hand sanitizer
- Poison centers have received more reports since their use has increased
- Teachers have reminded students not to touch their mouth after using it
- Deputy Director General for Schools Stephen Baxter said it was an isolated case
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
A five-year-old child was hospitalized after taking the hand sanitizer at school by licking his hands.
A spokeswoman for the Education Department told it WA today the child became unwell in class on Monday after licking his hands after using the dispensed product to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The spokeswoman said the school staff immediately called the student’s parents, who picked up their child and then sought medical help at Fiona Stanley Hospital, south Perth.
Hand disinfection has become a hot commodity in the fight against coronavirus, with the solution now widely available in public areas such as businesses, offices, shopping centers and schools.
A young student was hospitalized on Monday after licking their hands after applying a hand sanitizer (stock)
WA Education Minister Sue Ellery confirmed that after resuming classes, all schools would have a hand sanitizer, which would be provided by the department if schools themselves did not have access to it.
It’s because poison centers across the country have reported a wave of reports of the product since its use increased during the pandemic.
However, Stephen Baxter, deputy director general of the education department, said there is nothing to indicate that the product is widely abused by students in schools.
He said teachers have reminded students not to touch their mouths after applying hand sanitizer.
“Teachers encourage their students to clean their hands regularly and do it safely,” he said.
“This also includes reminding younger students not to touch their mouths after using hand sanitizer or soap.”
A WA Health Department spokesperson said that the antiseptic ethanol ingredient in hand sanitizer can cause serious harm to children and adults if taken in sufficient amounts.
The five-year-old was taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital (photo) in south Perth for medical treatment
“In very young children, accidental exposure to small amounts, such as a young child licking their hands, will not cause toxicity,” she said.
“Commercial products sometimes contain ingredients to make the taste unpleasant for children.”
They said that although poison centers are called more often, severe cases of toxicity are very rare.
However, they urged users to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as hand sanitizer is topical and poisonous if swallowed.
Parents are advised to keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of children and supervise when it is used.
In April, the New South Wales Poisoning Information Center received 164 calls about hand sanitizer poisoning, nearly three times the number of calls received in the same month last year.
If ingestion is suspected, the Poison Information Center should be called immediately 11 11 26 (24 hours a day) and emergency medical advice should be sought.