Child Gets Drunk On Hand Sanitizer

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-10 19:06:56-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -It’s meant to cut down on germs and keep things clean, but now, hand sanitizer is being put to a dangerous and potentially deadly use.

A mother on the east-side of the state was shocked to learn about the trend firsthand, after her young daughter was rushed to the hospital after drinking a bottle of the stuff.

Recently, Leanne Arndt’s five-year-old daughter reported being dizzy at school. The child was then rushed to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Doctors say the little girl’s ethanol levels were through the roof.  Once her daughter woke up, Leanne asked her what happened. Turns out, the child tasted several different kinds of hand sanitizer, adding that strawberry chocolate was her favorite.

“They were telling me that a one ounce ingestion of it can intoxicate an adult, and it’s about a 140 proof ethanol liquor,” Arndt said.  “That’s exactly what they compared it to is moonshine.”

Leanne says that doctors told her that her daughter just escaped death, adding that if emergency crews didn’t hook her up to IVs when they did, she would have been planning a funeral.

Tonight, her girl is recovering. “Once it got out of her system, probably about six or seven hours later she was fine,” says Arndt.  ” She was a little drowsy, but other than that, she’s been perfectly okay.  We don’t know the long-term effects is what I’m kind of more concerned about.”

Doctors around the country say they have been seeing more cases like this. In some instances, older kids use salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, making a drink that’s similar to a shot of hard liquor.

They’re now stressing that parents talk to their children about this potentially deadly trend.