Science

Children are getting hurt by hand sanitizers, some even severely: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2021

Researchers from France and India have cautioned the public about the use of hand sanitizers, especially for kids.

They reported that hundreds of cases associated with pediatric eye injuries were reported in just a five-month period after the beginning of the pandemic in France alone.

Two studies, released in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology on Thursday, elaborated on the new risk to children. In France, a team of researchers tracked a sevenfold year-on-year increase of sanitizer-related eye injuries. These were reported to France's poison control center between April and August, up to 232 cases.

The French study found that a significant number of eye injury cases occurred in public places, including sports arena, movie theater, and shopping mall. In all cases, the hand sanitizer dispensers were made accessible during the entry and exit.

Another team of experts at Grewal Eye Institute in India monitored two case studies involving small children who needed treatment for eye injuries.

Both studies drew the same conclusion: The hand sanitizer stalls are placed at waist level for adults. This means that they are situated at eye level for small children. Once the sanitizer gets seeped into the eyes, it can cause injuries and even blindness.

Meanwhile, local media from Spain to Israel have also reported a growing number of cases of eye injury caused by hand sanitizers.

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Published on January 24, 2021
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