EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is warning residents not to improperly use hand sanitizing and disinfecting products.
According to the West Texas Regional Poison Center (WTRPC), there has been an increase of about 70 percent to the Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) that may be attributed to health concerns regarding children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizers and cleaning products.
Health officials said hand sanitizers most commonly contain high concentrations of ethyl alcohol—between 60 and 70 percent.
Young children are more susceptible to alcohol’s potentially toxic effects, health officials said. Children may experience dizziness, drowsiness, changes in behavior, and even dangerously low blood sugars if they ingest the hand sanitizer.
“While we continue to advocate for regular thorough hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, and disinfecting products, we also want to make sure residents don’t become complacent in the way they use and store these items in their homes,” said Angela Mora, Assistant Health Director. “We especially want parents to be sure to keep hand sanitizer up and away from their children.”
The use of bleach and other household cleaners to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a 71 percent increase in cases involving bleach products, and a 63 percent increase in cases involving other household cleaning agents reported to the TPCN during March and April compared to previous years.
These cleaning products should be stored in their original container and away from the grasp of children.
The West Texas Regional Poison Center is available 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222 with specially trained and bilingual nurses, pharmacists, and physicians to help answer questions.
More safety information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html