Are Hand Sanitizers Safe For Children?

Are Hand Sanitizers Safe For Children?

One thing that every mom obsesses about is making sure that the baby is completely germ-free. After all, a baby is more susceptible to infections at a tender age. With the baby grabbing toys, tapping the floor with his or hands and then putting the fingers straight into the mouth, you may figure that the best option is a hand sanitizer to make sure that no germs enter the baby’s system. However, the question is are hand sanitizers safe for children or not?

Also read: Pollution Masks: Protect Your Kids From The Dangers Of Air Pollution

The Risks of Using a Hand Sanitizer

Using a hand sanitizer occasionally when you cannot access soap is not entirely bad. However, using this product frequently or using it to clean your child’s toys can be harmful in the long run. Are hand sanitizers safe for children?Here are some potential risks of using a hand sanitizer too frequently:

#1. Hand Sanitizer Contains Alcohol

It is the alcohol in the sanitizer that has the antimicrobial effect. This, however, is very risky for your baby. Most of this alcohol evaporates once it is rubbed on the skin. However, a small portion is also absorbed by the skin. If your baby puts his hand or fingers in the mouth after a sanitizer is used, it can lead to digestive issues. It causes stomach ache and even vomiting in some children. In very severe cases, it can even poison the baby.

The best option is to choose hand sanitizers that are alcohol-free and specially designed for babies and toddlers.

Also read: 7 Harmful Ingredients You Need to Look Out For in Baby Products

#2. They Can Weaken The Immunity

The hand sanitizer on its own does not affect the immunity of the baby. However, when you try too hard to keep the environment germ-free for the child, the immune system simply has nothing to do. Even vaccines induce a small number of dormant germs or microbes into the body so that the immune system can produce antibodies. Therefore, it is perfectly fine for the child to be exposed to some germs. In fact, a reaction such as a fever is proof that the immune system is in action. Eventually, the immune system will get stronger and will be able to fight off several strains of germs.

There are certain white blood cells that are called Memory T cells. These cells are able to remember the germs that caused a previous infection. They learn how to fight these particular germs and repeat the process the next time. If your child is never exposed to these pathogens or germs, the immunity does not strengthen. Of course, we need to take care that they do not catch any deadly infections and need to take precautions accordingly. However, the common strains of bacteria or viruses that we are exposed to in daily life actually help the immune system become strong enough to ward off any potential, life-threatening, health issues.

So, the next time your baby touches the floor and puts his or her hand in the mouth, remember that it is natural and does not require immediate sanitization of the fingers.

#3. They Can Cause Allergies

First, the immune response becomes weaker when your baby is kept in an ultra-clean environment. This means that the potential risk of developing allergies is higher. In addition to this, there are several chemicals, especially fragrances in these sanitizers that can cause allergies in children. The best option available is to make sure that the sanitizer that you use for the baby is completely fragrance-free. You also have herbal and organic options that you can try for your baby.

Also read: Protect your Child from Hand Foot Mouth Disease

#4. When To Use A Sanitizer?

The key to using hand sanitizers is knowing when to use them. When used correctly, they can actually be of great use. There are some instances when using a hand sanitizer is a good idea. For instance, if you are outdoors on a vacation or a picnic and your baby has played in some dirt, using a hand sanitizer is a great idea.

If you have visited a relative who is unwell, you can make use of a hand sanitizer because the baby has been exposed to potent pathogens. However, you should avoid using it every time the baby touches the floor or a toy.

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