It’s 2016 – The era of quick fixes. There’s no escaping the innovative and disruptive products, trivial ones even, in the market that aim at making life easy and more convenient.
It won’t surprise you then that the hand sanitizer is one such innovative cleansing product that took the hand-washing industry by storm. It all started when Lupe Hernandez, a registered nurse in California figured that alcohol can be delivered in a gel form which can then be used as a cleansing agent. Thus, the hand sanitizer was born, and a quick fix replacement for water + soap was found.
With passing years, this invention took the mass-y turn as companies took to mass manufacturing this product and branding it as the best alternative to washing your hands. We all know and agree that hand sanitizers are a great solution for when water and soap are not accessible. Now, the alcohol content in these sanitizers is not lethal for adults as they are aware of the amount to be used and the fact that the sanitiser is not edible.
Kids, on the other hand, are very curious creatures! And they are attracted to this glittery fluid, which smells really good and is easily available in small shiny bottles.
When it comes to sanitizers, the first major threat is kids younger than 2-years-old ingesting it and suffering from alcohol poisoning! The alcohol content in these sanitizers is equivalent to a shot of a hard alcohol drink. Research claims that around 3,600 kids in the USA alone are poisoned due to ingestion of sanitizers. Isn’t this a scary number? So for starters, it’s very important to keep these bottles out of reach of toddlers!
Second on the list is skin damage. The skin of a toddler is not immune to complex cleansing agents, as it is not yet fully developed. Excessive use of hand sanitizers hinders with the complete development of the child’s skin and their immunity as well. Therefore, with ample use of sanitizers there’s a risk of the child growing up with a weak immunity system that is prone to more bacteria related diseases!
Thirdly, the sweet smell of these sanitizers is highly toxic for kids due to the presence of a compound called phthalates. Therefore, encouraging the use of hand sanitizers before meals is actually not a great idea!
Although their marketing campaigns claim complete protection against germs, most advertisements don’t really talk about the cons of use of hand sanitizers for kids. Hence, at The Learning Curve we believe, it is best to wait for a couple of years until the kid is all grown up before placing a pet bottle of a hand sanitizer in his/her backpack.
The traditional handwashing is superior to sanitizers anyday!