Hand Sanitizer Hazards

I received an email today warning about the dangers of hand sanitizers and young children.
I checked it out at Snopes.com to be sure of the validity of it and sure enough, there is truth to it. It is actually quite scary.
Your child can get alcohol poisoning from ingesting only a couple of squirts. Be careful.

Click here for the link.

Booze Ooze

Claim: Ingestion of hand sanitizer by children can result in alcohol poisoning.

Status: True.


[Collected via e-mail, January 2007]

Hi All-

Just wanted to send you a quick email and warn you about using hand sanitizers with your young kids. We have been using that with Sydney in place of hand washing for convenience sake. Today she told me she was going up to her room to get a toy, while I was downstairs feeding Griffin, and after taking longer then it should I called for her. When she didn’t answer I knew she was up to something and the bathroom door was closed. She got into the hand sanitizer and had ingested some of it. There wasn’t a large amount missing from the bottle but I could smell it on her breath.

Within approx. 10 min. she was all glassy eyed and wobbly in her feet. As the minutes passed, she continued to get worse and got to the point where she couldn’t even stand up or walk, it was awful!!

I called poison control immediately and they told me to take her to the ER right away due to the alcohol level in hand sanitizers. As we were driving there her speech became slurred and harder to understand and her eyes looked awful. They admitted her and did urine and blood tests and it turns out that her blood alcohol level was .10 — which is legally drunk. It turns out that the hand sanitizers (Purell) have 62% alcohol in them and the dr. compared it to her drinking something that is 120 proof.

We had a VERY scary afternoon but thankfully she is ok. We were in the ER until this evening, after spending the whole afternoon there, so they could monitor her and make sure her blood sugars were stable. They said that someone her size would only need to have 3 squirts of it to get to the point of being .10 blood level.

She has always wanted to lick her hands after we use it and we have warned her that it is dangerous and something that kids can’t do or they will end up in the hospital. Needless to say, we are going to go back to washing hands with soap and water because it is way to risky and scary to use this stuff seeing how little a child needs to be affected by it. We asked about long term affected with the liver, brain, etc and the dr. said we have nothing to worry about but we need to get rid of all the hand sanitizer in the house.

Just wanted to let you all know so you can learn from our lesson and not have to go through something as scary as this…

[Collected via e-mail, May 2007]

Ok. I don’t know where to begin because the last 2 days of my life have been such a blur. Yesterday, My youngest daughter Halle who is 4, was rushed to the emergency room by her father for being severely lethargic and incoherent. He was called to her school by the school secretary for being “very VERY sick.” He told me that when he arrived that Halle was barely sitting in the chair. She couldn’t hold her own head up and when he looked into her eyes, she couldn’t focus them.

He immediately called me after he scooped her up and rushed her to the ER. When we got there, they ran blood test after blood test and did x-rays, every test imaginable. Her white blood cell count was normal, nothing was out of the ordinary. The ER doctor told us that he had done everything that he could do so he was sending her to Saint Francis for further test. Right when we were leaving in the ambulance, her teacher had come to the ER and after questioning Halle’s classmates, we found out that she had licked hand sanitizer off her hand. Hand sanitizer, of all things.

But it makes sense. These days they have all kinds of different scents and when you have a curious child, they are going to put all kinds of things in their mouths. When we arrived at Saint Francis, we told the ER doctor there to check her blood alcohol level, which, yes we did get weird looks from it but they did it. The results were her blood alcohol level was 85% and this was 6 hours after we first took her. There’s no telling what it would have been if we would have tested it at the first ER. Since then, her school and a few surrounding schools have taken this out of the classrooms of all the lower grade classes but whats to stop middle and high schoolers too? After doing research off the internet, we have found out that it only takes 3 squirts of the stuff to be fatal in a toddler. For her blood alcohol level to be so high was to compare someone her size to drinking something 120 proof. So please PLEASE don’t disregard this because I don’t ever want anyone to go thru what my family and I have gone thru. Today was a little better but not much. Please send this to everyone you know that has children or are having children. It doesn’t matter what age. I just want people to know the dangers of this.

Thank you Lacey Butler and family

Origins: The alert which began circulating via e-mail in mid-January 2007 was written by Jennifer Moe, the mother of a 2-year-old girl who had ingested some hand sanitizer. While the story as related in the e-mailed account fortunately did not result in a death or serious injury, Hand sanitizer is a cautionary tale worth heeding because it presents a scenario that can all too easily be repeated in other households with small children. Hand sanitizer gels and wipes include a surprising amount of alcohol (e.g., Purell and Germ-X contain 62% Ethyl Alcohol), and a child who swallowed enough of such products could experience what 2-year-old Sydney went through: intoxication, possibly even alcohol poisoning. “Ingesting as little as an ounce or two of this product could be fatal to a toddler,” says Heidi Kuhl, a health educator at the Central New York Poison Control Center.

Bottles of topical anti-bacterials do carry explicit warnings about the danger they pose (e.g., bottles of Purell hand sanitizer caution: “Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”) However, unlike cleaning supplies and numerous other products commonly used in the home,
hand sanitizer isn’t generally thought of as something that presents a poisoning danger to children — folks unthinkingly tend to regard it the way they do hand lotion, as something that can be safely left on a counter or nightstand. Yet such products shouldn’t be left within easy reach, not if one has a small child about. While one might think the taste of the product (which in Purell’s case is akin to a slightly flowery version of vodka) would keep children from swallowing too much of it, kids can and do get into the darndest things.

More than half the calls received by most poison centers across the country involve children under the age of six. Usually the reported poisoning incidents result in mild or no symptoms, but many carry the potential for severe injury or even death. Parents and caregivers therefore have to be vigilant about reading product labels to determine what items need to be kept well out of reach of tiny hands.

Published in: on May 27, 2007 at 2:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Are you playing healthy kids bingo?

A while ago, the kids got some bingo cards and stickers in their lockers. I put them up on the counter with papers and sort of forgot about them. Last week I finally cleaned out my basket of clutter and found them again. Since then, my kids have been trying to get blackout on the bingo card. On Thursday, my son got to put 3 stickers on just for supper. He ate baby carrots, pears, and milk! This morning, after breakfast my daughter noticed her card hung on the fridge and said, “well, I gotta go run for awhile so I can put my bingo sticker on the running one…” and she was off. She was having so much fun exercising, she forgot to put her sticker on. Later I reminded her. I got on-line to find out more about this healthy kids program, using April’s link from her last post, www.healthysiouxfalls.org. Their site has a lot of great information including colorful downloads and resources. I also came across fun things for kids at sanford health.org . Click on the orange box that says Game Closet for games, movies, quizzes, activities and experiments. I played the Mission Nutrition and actually learned a thing or two. My kids are a little young to play this game, but it was a great opportunity to educate them about making healthy food choices.

Take a few minutes out of your own busy (believe me I know) schedule and talk to your kids about the importance of eating healthy and exercising. It’s fun to do things together and when we all learn to make better choices as a family and we are all more fit and have more energy we will be happier parents and they will be happier kids.

Published in: on April 14, 2007 at 1:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Become Involved

Just a couple of topics that affect our children and future leaders. 

 First, I touched upon the topic of healthy eating in my last parent newsletter.  One fact we learned at the training is this:  Our children are a part of the first generation expected to live a shorter life than that of their parents- due to unhealthy eating; causing obesity, heart trouble, diabetes, stroke, etc.  This is a startling fact!  You can learn more about this by attending the Obesity Conference on March 10,2007.  The link to register is www.healthysiouxfalls.com  Or view this site to find more information on the topic.

 Next, if you had a chance to read the Argus Leader on Sunday Feb. 25, 2007, you may have noticed the front page article regarding Preschool  Regulations.  I received the following e-mailed information from our South Dakota Association of the Education of Young Children Representative regarding the Senate Bill 115.   

Senate Bill 115 did have a hearing at the House Education Committee this past Thursday but the vote on it has now been deffered until Tuesday (Feb. 27) at 10:00 am. The Department of Education offered an amendment to help clarify and ease some of the concerns against it.  The amendment states:
     Any rules promulgated to establish standards for the classification and accreditation of pre- kindergarten programs shall ensure that any child under the minimum age for kindergarten pursuant to § 13-28-2 is not required to attend a pre-kindergarten program. In addition, any such rules shall ensure that any school district that receives foundation program state aid for pre-kindergarten programs shall collaborate with any provider that volunteers to participate, that operates within the boundaries of the school district, and that meets the accreditation standards for pre-kindergarten. ”  The original bill is printed below.

So there is still time if you want to let the House Ed Committee know your thoughts on the topic or if you know of other people who might lend their voice as well. Even if they have been contacted already – the amendment and deferred vote gives us the opportunity to contact them again. The opposition has been busy talking about preschool not having lasting benefits, being too expensive, hurting current providers, and taking responsibility from parents.  This is not the case.  The children the Dept of Ed wants to serve are only those chidlren who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Current providers will be invited to participate in the program as the amendment states.
You can open an e-mail account for free at Yahoo.com account if you don’t want to e-mail from your work account so you can give your opinions as a private citizen.

Talking points: SB 115 will allow the Board of Education to pass quality standards for preschool that could be made available for children who are disadvantaged.  Current providers will be able to particiapte in offering the preschool services. No one will be mandated to participate.  Research clearly shows that the first five years of life are critical to the development of the brain.  Children who don’t have quality experiences in these early years will not reach the same potential they could if they have had these opportunities. Preschool is a very wise economic investment.  Putting money into preschool for children who are at risk provides a strong return on investment, because children will need less special education, less retention, higher graduation rates, and will be able to find better jobs, and contribute more to society.

Legislators can be called or contacted  at http://legis.state.sd.us/email/LegislatorEmail.aspx.
Members of the committee are:
 Phyllis Heineman Sioux Falls District 13
 Keri Weems Sioux Falls District 11
Jim Bradford, Pine Ridge  District 27
Michael Buckingham Rapid City District 33
Mark DeVries Belvidere District 27
Burt Elliott Aberdeen District 2
Charlotte “Charlii” Gilson Yankton District 18
Tom Hackl  Hoven District 23     
Thomas Hills Spearfish District 31
Ed McLaughlin Rapid City District 34
 Al Novstrup Aberdeen District 3
Ryan Olson Onida District 24
 Bill Thompson Sioux Falls District 13
Thomas Van Norman Cheyenne River District 28a
Hal Wick Sioux Falls District 12

Please pass this information onto anyone you think might like to
contact representatives as well.  Thanks, Gera

  Senate Bill 115 states:
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to  revise certain  provisions regarding the rule-making authority of the Board of
Section  1.  That 13-1-12.1 be amended to read as follows:
13-1-12.1.   The South Dakota Board of Education shall
promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to establish
standards for the classification and accreditation of pre-
kindergarten and K-12 schools within this state, to establish standards for preparation of certified personnel, to set forth
procedures for determining the eligibility of school districts to
receive state foundation aid effective January 1, 1997, to adopt  policies and rules necessary to establish standards and  procedures for vocation-technical education and to establish
curriculum requirements for both a basic high school program
and for a recommended high school program for all public and
nonpublic schools within the state. Both programs shall include a
rigorous high school curriculum, and the recommended high
school program shall be more academically challenging in the
areas of mathematics and science than the basic high school  program. Both programs shall enhance and may not diminish the
academic preparation necessary for students to complete high
school. The requirements of the basic program shall be aligned
to the academic content standards developed pursuant to  13-3-48 and shall, at a minimum, include the content standards  tested pursuant to 13-3-55. 

Published in: on February 25, 2007 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Following the “rules”.

I have a three year old and a five year old. Recently we have been talking a lot about rules.  My daughter especially likes to know what the rules are before she starts something. For example, we drove a few hundred miles last weekend to visit a friend. Before we left we talked about the rules in the car. I always let them think of their own rules first then I make sure I share with them the rules that I feel are important, too. Some rules are simple. No screaming in the car. Others are more complex. You cannot unbuckle your car seat because it is not safe for you to be standing in the van when we are moving so fast. I think the key for my family is involving everyone and being flexible. Last year we could not have done this because my son wouldn’t have understood how to make his own rules. Now that we are all old enough to understand them it is easier. Even now his rules are pretty redundant. He usually says things like; no kicking the cat, no kicking the dog, no kicking daddy, no kicking the toys. He just enjoys contributing to the conversation and feeling included. We use safety as our main priority. No jumping off the dresser superboy!  Then we try to make rules that would help everybody enjoy the activity. Take turns. Please share. Lastly, we are pretty flexible. Sometimes the rules have to change because of different circumstances. I know I let you eat popcorn in the living room, but I can’t let you have a bowl of cereal in there, because you may spill and milk is not fun for mommy to clean out of the carpet. I always try to explain to them why I changed my mind and that seems to satisfy them. It has been much easier to learn from our mistakes and take the consequences now that we are all a part of the rule making process.

Inspiration for this post provided by parenting.com  “How to make rules that stick.”

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  


This site will give you some information about chicken pox.


  You can also go to  http://www.cdc.gov/nip/diseases/varicella/vac-chart.htm   to get another perspective.

 When the day care has a case of a communicable disease, we must report it to the State in Pierre.  I contacted them today and this is what I was told.  (neither of the sites gives this info, so please keep reading.)

*If your child is between 0-6 months   AND the mother HAS HAD chicken pox, her natural antibodies defend the child against the likelyhood of getting the chicken pox.  Contact your DR.

*If your child is between 7-12 months they have a chance of getting the disease but usually with less severity than if older.  Contact your DR for recommendations.

*If your child is between 12 months and 5 yrs AND it is only 4 days from onset of chicken pox in another person, YOU CAN STILL CALL YOUR DR AND GET THE VARICELLA VACCINE.  It is then possible that your child will not become infected.  Contact your DR.

*If you are 13 yrs or older and have never had chicken pox YOU CAN get the varicella vaccine BUT it is done in two doses which are spread weeks apart.  BUT, it can help reduce the severity of the disease and IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE PERSON RECEIVE THE VACCINE!!!  Contact your DR. 

In any of these scenarios, 4 DAYS is the key.  This will require immediate attention on your part.  I

Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Are you Proud?

If you take pride in the place we call home, you’re invited to put that pride to good use during a positive community-wide action program! The program is kicking off with a Montrose Irish Pride Party on January 28 from noon until
2:30 pm in the Montrose gym and cafeteria. Bring your family to enjoy:

*FREE Roast Beef Dinner
*Irish Music by Dakota District Pipes and Drums
*Motivational Speaker Charlotte Henry
*Supervised Kids’ Activities
*Door Prizes
*Opportunity to learn how you can make a difference

The Montrose Irish Pride Party is designed to celebrate Montrose’s participation in this innovative community enrichment program, and motivate a large number of people to get involved.
It’s all part of the Horizon’s Community Leadership Program, which Montrose qualified for last fall. This program uses dialogue-based Study Circles to help identify and solve tough issues facing small towns across South Dakota. We need a diverse cross-section of people to make this a success. Please bring your Irish Pride and get ready to enjoy a great afternoon.

Published in: on January 22, 2007 at 1:29 am  Leave a Comment  

2006 List of Potentially Dangerous Toys

Take a look at this.

I came across this 2006 list of dangerous toys and thought it was important enough to share. Just a couple of comments of my own;

I am sure we all use common sense when purchasing toys for our children, but with all the gifts they get from friends and family, it is probably good for us to take a good look at the toy and deem it ‘safe’ before we let our children play with it. Each child is different so the appropriate age listed on the package is just a generalization and does not mean that, for example, all children ages 3 and up are safe to use it. Again, you know your child best, use your own judgement.

I was particularly surprised at the name-brand toys that could potentially be dangerous. I have been brainwashed to believe that because it is a name-brand it is better and safer but that is not always the case. I need to look at each toy individually without just accepting the brand as ‘okay’.

Safe toys are fun toys, too.


(to view the list simply click on the word ‘this’ in the first sentence of this post or copy and paste this link into your browser bar http://uspirg.org/html/2006DangerousToyList.pdf )

Published in: on January 17, 2007 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Helpful Websites

In light of the fact that many, and I mean MANY, children are sick with RSV and colds and flu, I looked up some information.  Even after 17 years of being in the childcare profession, I find “flu” season amazing!  Will we ever be able to figure it all out!?  What is the difference between these 3 illnesses anyway?  Hopefully, the following information will prove helpful.    

www.sdedweb.state.sd.us   Go to Parents, click on infants and toddlers, click on health and submit.  This will bring up many articles but I specifically read:

www.lungusa.org    Go to Diseases A-Z and choose    *Cold       *Flu       *Influenza       *RSV      *Pnuemonia

www.familydoctor.org   Go to Conditions A-Z   *Colds and flu       *Colds in Children: When Your Child Has A Runny Nose      *Cough In Children: What Is Croup 

www.familydoctor.org   Go to Parents and Kids        It will give you information on anything from ADHA to toilet training and MORE!

The final resource I found helpful was Ask-A-Nurse at McKennan Hospital.  I was provided specific information regarding RSV and the RN was very thorough.  The number is 1-800-658-3535.

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 10:23 pm  Comments (1)  

What’s Your Purpose?

Ever wonder how things happen?  Maybe, not so much how as why? 

Well, I began this blog because I was asked to be an author on another account- day care sound board.  Never having done anything quite so “technical”, I thought I needed to have my own to use another- pretty confusing stuff so far! 

Anyway, I feel to help push myself to be a better educator and parent, I could use this site to discuss issues families encounter throughout life.  Hence, the poems and thought provoking “editorials”.  It will include parent education, poems, statistics, etc.  I need to be reminded of what my purpose is-often.  Not so much as teacher and friend but as a parent!! 

As I share information with you, I would hope that you feel comfortable including comments that would benefit or lighten others’ days as well. 

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 9:50 pm  Comments (7)  

Something to Consider…

“Hurry up,” I always hear you say, “Or I will leave you behind.”

I hear these words the whole day long and though you are so kind

Most of the time I just wish I would hear you softly say,

“Just take your time tying your shoes,  or finish up your play.”

The world is all new to me; time has not dimmed my sight;

And all around me there’s things to see that fill me with delight.

Don’t catch me up in your round-rush, your pressures I cannot


Just slow down and look around, and then you will understand.

Please let me take the time to look, to listen, and to climb.

I’ll miss some things along the way if I hurry all the time.

For some day you’ll say, “Hurry up!”, when you’re walking down

 the road.

You’ll turn around and I’ll be gone; cause I hurried up and growed!

Authur: Cecilia Benson


Published in: on January 5, 2007 at 1:54 am  Comments (1)