"Four-year old Girl Intoxicated From Hand Sanitizer-Truth!
|Summary of the eRumor: |
The author of the email says her 4-year old daughter ate hand sanitizer at pre-school and was rushed to the hospital with potentially deadly alcohol intoxication.
|The Truth: |
The story is true, although with one glaring factual error.
According to a Fox 23 Tulsa television interview with her parents, Matt and Lacey Butler, Little Halle was in a pre-kindergarten class at Okmulgee Primary School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma when a teacher did what seemed to be right, gave Halle some hand sanitizer to clean her hands before eating lunch. Instead of rubbing it in, however, Halle ate it. She licked it from her hand. Shortly afterwards her behavior was alarming enough that she was taken to a local hospital. Matt Butler says that when he arrived at the emergency room, his daughter was leaning against a wall, that her eyes would not focus, and she could not walk.
Doctors determined that she was intoxicated.
The eRumor says her blood alcohol level was 85 percent, which nobody would survive so that figure is obviously wrong. The writer may have meant to say .85 percent.
Hand sanitizers have an alcohol level of more than 60 percent. Hard liquor, by comparison, is 40 percent alcohol while most beers are less than 5 percent alcohol.
Unlike other poisons and alcoholic beverages, however, most hand sanitizers are easily accessible to children and most of us would not think about the danger.
"Death sets in at a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .50 which is half of
one percent. so the numbers are indeed way off. But a 40 pound body
would not need to ingest much alcohol to get very drunk. Clearly these
wipes should be kept away from children who would put them in their
The good news is that alcohol doesn't enter the bloodstream very
effectively through the skin. One would have to soak in it for a while
to see any effects.
If people could get drunk by soaking their hands in vodka, they would
do it because their vodka would last a very long time that way.
Putting it in the mouth, however, is very different and it sounds like
these products simply DO NOT belong in a preschool environment."