With the current COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, everyone is advised to wash their hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Thorough hand washing means scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinsing. This is especially important before eating, after coughing, sneezing, or nose-blowing.
In public and community settings, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are recommended after touching surfaces and before entering and leaving the premises.
According to a recent French study, there’s been a marked increase in eye injuries caused by alcohol-based hand sanitizers amongst young children.
What The Study Says
The study published on January 21 by JAMA Ophthalmology reveals that the widespread use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers is causing increasing eye injuries to children.
The French Poison Control Center also released data claiming that eye injuries from harmful chemicals in people under the age of 18 were seven times higher in 2020 than the previous year.
"In 2019, hand sanitizer accounted for just 1.3 per cent of all chemical eye exposure incidents in the pediatric database. By the end of 2020, that number was up to 9.9 per cent. Just one toddler in France required hospitalization for sanitizer in his eyes in 2019. In 2020, 16 children were hospitalized for such chemical exposure," the study claims.
How To Protect Your Children
To shield your kids from the hazards of alcohol based hand sanitizers, medical experts recommend the following precautions:
Train children on how to use hand sanitizers safely.
Make sure children sanitise their hands in front of you.
Keep hand sanitizers out of reach of children.
Monitor children and ensure they don’t rub their eyes with wet sanitiser in their hands.
If you suspect that your child’s eyes have been in contact with an alcohol-based sanitiser, call for help immediately.