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WA child rushed to hospital after consuming hand sanitizer

A child was rushed to a Perth hospital after consuming an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, generating an urgent warning.

An urgent safety alert was issued by the consumer protection agency in Western Australia after a child was hospitalized for swallowing hand sanitizer.

The child ingested between 30 and 60 milliliters of the alcohol-based disinfectant and was rushed to a hospital in Perth with acute intoxication.

Since then, the child has fully recovered.

WA consumer protection commissioner Lanie Chopping said that parents and guardians of children should be more vigilant as children often mistake bottles of disinfectant for food or drink.

She said that most alcohol-based disinfectants contain more than 60% alcohol content and that only a few mouthfuls can poison a child.

“Hand sanitizer should always be kept out of the reach of children and should only be used by children under adult supervision,” said Chopping.

“As it is a highly flammable product, it must also be kept away from any type of open flame.

“Consumers who use their own bottles at hand sanitizer refueling stations should clearly mark their bottles to avoid confusion with any other household or food items.”

Ms. Chopping said she was working with the consumer’s watchdog to ensure that the hand sanitizer was not sold in packaging similar to food or drinks.

“The action includes educating salespeople about new packaging and labeling requirements and product safety officials will ensure that they comply,” she said.

TIPS FOR SAFE USE OF THE HAND SANITISER

  • If you have children at home, look for hand sanitizer with child resistant packaging or other closures that make it difficult for children to access the product on their own.
  • Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of children at all times. Children should only apply hand sanitizer under adult supervision.
  • The hand sanitizer is for external use only.
  • If ingested, you should seek medical attention immediately.
  • Keep the hand sanitizer away from any type of flame, as its ingredients are highly flammable.
  • Stop using hand sanitizer if it causes skin irritation.

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