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hand sanitizer and kids, hand sanitizer dangers, purell hand sanitizer
With flu everywhere you look it may be tempting to coat your kiddo’s hands in hand sanitizer. Most hand sanitizers are alcohol based and can be harmful if they are ingested, especially for very young children. I took the ingredient list directly from the Purell website, but added my own notes about the ingredients.

Active Ingredients: Contains: Ethyl Alcohol (62%)
Inactive Ingredients:
Isopropyl Myristate,
Propylene Glycol, – Potential health effects of propylene glycol can include:

  • mild eye irritation, tearing, and burning pain.
  • May cause moderate skin irritation including erythema, dryness, and defatting.
  • May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.
  • May cause hemoglobinuric nephrosis.
  • May cause changes in surface EEG.
  • May cause respiratory tract irritation if inhaled.
  • May cause reproductive and fetal effects.
  • Laboratory experiments have resulted in mutagenic effects.
  • Exposure to large doses may cause central nervous system depression.
  • Chronic ingestion may cause lactic acidosis and possible seizures.

Tocopheryl Acetate,
Aminomethyl Propanol,
Fragrance (parfum) – This industry term is loosely defined and leaves wiggle room for companies. Is the fragrance synthetic? Toxic? Made out of roses? Who knows.

I’ve never really been a big fan of these things. I would rather use good old soap and water, and I want my one-year-old to use the same thing. Baby wipes are another gentle alternative to clean hands without using hand sanitizer.

What do you think? Do you use them on your children?