[Libs-Or] Hand Sanitizers and alcohol poisoning

Andrew R. Bonamici bonamici at uoregon.edu
Tue Oct 20 15:04:28 PDT 2009

Dear Leah, et al.:

I ran this question past Dr. Tom Ryan (UO Health Center) and the UO's Emergency Management staff; see below for Sr, Ryan's response. Hope this helps everyone stay safe and healthy!


Andrew R. Bonamici
Associate University Librarian, Media & Instructional Services
University of Oregon Libraries
Eugene OR 9703-1299 USA
bonamici at uoregon.edu
O 541.346.2682
C 541.206.9840
F 541.346.3485


from Dr. Tom Ryan, University of Oregon Health Center:
 I checked with Dr. Sarah Hendrickson, the Health Officer for Lane County Public Health, regarding alcohol-based sanitizers.
  Dr. Hendrickson says that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are OK for use in children, as long as the children are also washing their hands with soap and water (or having them washed for them) throughout the day. She notes that hand sanitizers can leave a residue on the hands, which can build up over time unless washed off.
  She makes the following recommendations:
     1) use the alcohol-based sanitizers if soap and water are not available
     2 )don’t leave alcohol-based hand sanitizers around where young children can play with them 
     3) continue handwashing with real soap and water whenever possible and particularly before meals and snacks.

On Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:53:27 -0700, Leah Griffith <leah.griffith at newbergoregon.gov> wrote:

> Hi all,  

> One of my board members is an early childhood educator and
she reminded me at our board meeting last week that child care centers are not
supposed to be using hand sanitizers at all due to the potential for children
to lick/eat the  sanitizer and get alcohol poisoning.  Apparently a pretty small
amount can make a child ill.  
> So… we are still keeping out our sanitizers, but the
one in the children’s room is behind the desk and the others are up on

> Just thought you’d want to know one more thing to
think about with H1N1  ;-) 
> Leah
> ****************************** 
> Leah M. Griffith  
> Director,   Newberg Public Library  
> 503 E. Hancock      Newberg,  OR  97132 
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