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Moms Talk: Kids Drinking Hand Sanitizer

Is it time to lock the Purell in the liquor cabinet? In this week’s Moms Talk we discuss a scary story about teens being rushed to the emergency room—after drinking hand sanitizer to get a buzz.

I’ve been seeing a lot of news stories recently about six California teenagers who landed in San Fernando Valley emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer.

Some of the teenagers used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, making a potent drink that is similar to a shot of hard liquor. They learned how to do this on the internet.

Oh, dummies.

Kids do stupid things. I know this. They even drink mouthwash, for heaven’s sake.

Now it seems that hand sanitizer will join the ranks of mouthwash and other potentially deadly household products such as paint thinner, gasoline, Sharpies, nail polish remover and hair spray. These products are popular with kids who engage in huffing, another way to get a euphoric feeling similar to an alcohol buzz.

These products are cheap and easy for kids to get their hands on. It’s scary, and it's heartbreaking to think of the lengths these kids are going to, and the danger they so recklessly put themselves in, for a little lightheaded fun.

So what do we do, moms?

Well, we talk to our kids about the dangers of abusing products. We watch them for signs. We roll them in bubble wrap, secure the trappings with duct tape, prop them in a corner and lock their bedroom doors.

I’m just kidding about that last part. Sort of.

Seriously, prevention is key. Talk to your kids. Stay involved in their lives. Know their friends. Hack their Facebook accounts. You know the drill. And if you suspect your child might be engaging in dangerous behavior like drinking hand sanitizer or huffing, look for signs of intoxication or sores and scratches around their mouths—along with any unusual odors.

What do you think about this, moms? How do we idiot-proof our kids and keep them from making the dangerous decision to abuse common household items?

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