Doctors warn of hand sanitizer’s risks to children

News Network
August 7, 2021

Several experts and doctors from across the world have warned against the careless use of hand sanitizers by the children and urged the parents to be cautious.

A recent international study found that hand sanitisers harm and hurt children's eyes.
 
Last month, a four-year-old child in the UAE severely injured her eye after hand sanitizer from a foot-operated station was accidentally squirted directly into it. According to her parents, the accident occurred when the child playfully touched the hand sanitizer station at a public place while she stood directly under it.

The child was rushed to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where doctors immediately washed the child's eye, administered antibiotics to prevent infection, and applied eye drops to reduce discomfort. She was diagnosed with a near-total corneal abrasion caused by the alcohol and alkaline chemical additives in the sanitiser.

Dr Razia Mele Vallopra, a specialist paediatrician at Prime Medical Centre Al Nahda, says it is now a common sight to see parents sanitising their children's hands multiple times during the 15 minutes inside her consultation room.

"Sanitisers is also being used on the hands of younger children lavishly. Dispensers are placed in prominent locations in public places like malls leading to unsupervised use by children," she said.

According to Dr Vallopra, many studies have proven that sanitisers with an alcohol content of less than 60 per cent are ineffective. The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorically states that washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is superior to using a hand sanitiser, he said.

"But the sanitisers are here to stay, mainly due to their portability and ease of application. As the percentage of alcohol increases, so does the side effects," said the health expert adding she was facing issues in his paediatric practise that were rare before the outbreak of Covid-19.

"Due to the drying effect of alcohol, several children developed dried and cracked skin which made them prone to picking up infections as the protective barrier of intact skin was lost," said Vallopra.

"Many children with previously diagnosed and controlled eczema developed flare-ups of their rashes. Unsupervised use of dispensers on pedestals have caused misdirected spray into the eyes leading to chemical burns."

She advised parents not to allow children to use hand sanitisers without supervision and to use the product in moderation.

"Take a small amount and spread all over the hands and wait for it to dry completely. Avoid ingestion and contact with eyes. Choose hand washing over sanitiser if the situation permits," she said.

Dr Prabhakar Patil, specialist paediatrics & neonatologist from Medcare Women & Children Hospital, says small children are especially susceptible to accidental ingestion of sanitisers as they come in many colourful shapes and sizes.

"As they are more curious, they tend to ingest them. Ingestion can lead to alcohol poisoning with symptoms like excessive sleepiness, low blood sugar, sometimes can lead to convulsions and coma. If sanitisers contain menthol, which is more toxic, it can lead to headache and sometimes blindness and damage to the central nervous system," he said.

"When the sanitiser accidentally touches eyes, it can lead to irritation, redness, blurring of vision, and sometimes chemical burns," he cautioned adding that families should always keep the sanitisers out of reach from children.

Dr Sandeep Kuchi, a paediatrics and neonatology specialist at Aster Hospital, says "rare health effects include coma, seizures, low sugars and respiratory depression."

"Although the use of hand sanitisers must continue, while it is one of the ways to contain the spread of the virus, as a parent, you must try and lessen its harmful impact on our children's health."

Dr Kuchi has advised parents to use soap and water over hand sanitisers with their children wherever possible.

He noted that recent research shows the number of cases due to chemical exposure incidents after excessive usage of sanitiser and adverse health effects has gone up by 8-10 per cent.

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News Network
November 26,2021

Lucknow, Nov 26: Four members of a family in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, including a 16-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, were found murdered at their home on Thursday morning.

Relatives of the family, which belongs to a Scheduled Caste, have claimed the girl could have been raped before her death, and they have accused a neighbouring family, which belongs to the so-called "upper caste", of the crime.

Police have registered an FIR with charges including gang rape and murder against 11 named persons. The Prayagraj police chief told the media some people had been taken into custody for questioning.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is the party's in-charge for the state, which votes in an Assembly election next year, is due to visit Prayagraj at 3 pm, and is expected to meet with the family members of those killed.

The bodies of a 50-year-old man, his 45-year-old wife, and their children were found at their home.

Police said they may have been attacked with a sharp weapon, and that there were grievous injuries on their bodies. The girl's body was found in a room inside the house, while the other three bodies were found together in the courtyard.

A member of the extended family told the media of a land dispute with the "upper caste" family that had been festering since 2019, and claimed the victims had been assaulted by that family in September. The police, however, were trying to force a compromise, the family member alleged.

"The police were forcing the murder victims to compromise. Sushil Kumar (a police constable) used to come to us and pressure us to compromise. The police used to sit at their (accused) homes. The local inspector also told us to compromise," the family member told the media.

"On September 21 the family was beaten up but an FIR was filed only after a week, and then a counter FIR was filed against the aggrieved family too, though they were the ones who got beaten up," the family member added.

"It appears all four were hit on the head with an axe. There are grievous injuries on the bodies. Initial information suggests that in 2019 and 2021 they had filed cases under the SC/ST Act against some people related to a land dispute. The family alleged there was no headway in these cases. We will take strict action," Sarvashrestha Tripathi, the Prayagraj police chief, said in a video statement. 

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News Network
November 17,2021

Mangaluru, Nov 17: The district administrations of Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu have sounded high alert following the reports of Norovirus cases in Kerala’s Wayanad. 

The Norovirus infection was reported among 13 students of a veterinary college in Wayanad district and at least a dozen more are said to have been showing the symptoms.

The district administrations of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada, which share a border with Kerala, have instructed the field surveillance staff to safeguard water sources shared at a community level like community wells. Consuming drinking water disinfected with chlorine has been advised.

Kodagu administration acknowledged the disease it is highly contagious but the Dakshina Kannada administration said pre-emptive screening was not possible unless people show symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. The district administrations have also advised the students not to eat stale food from hotels around college campuses.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with Norovirus. One can get Norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or from touching contaminated surfaces and then putting one’s unwashed hands in one’s mouth.

Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer Dr Kishore Kumar said, “It’s a zoonotic virus and can spread through contaminated food. If anyone has symptoms similar to gastroenteritis like stomach pain and diarrhea, their family members at home are most likely to be infected too as Norovirus spreads through touch of unwashed hands.

Dr Venkatesh R, District Health Officer, Kodagu, said, “It mainly comes from stale food and contaminated water. We can treat stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. We will be chlorinating water regularly as ours is a border district. Norovirus is rare but is highly contagious and the infected students in Kerala were living outside the college hostel. NIV Alappuzha confirmed it.

If we find any symptoms like fever and stomach pain we will test people here. We will be shortly issuing a circular asking people drink only lukewarm water. We need to give instructions to hotels to serve only freshly cooked food. Many visitors from Wayanad mostly go to Mysuru.”

Dr K H Prasad, District Health officer, Mysuru, said, “Bavali in HD Kote is the only check-post between Wayanad and Mysuru. Every day up to 200 vehicles take this route. We will be doing temperature surveillance of visitors to see if they’re feverish. We also screen Wayanad visitors coming in from Chamarajanagar’s Gundlupet to Mysuru’s tourist attractions.” 

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News Network
November 22,2021

AbubakkarKulai.jpg

Mangaluru, Nov 22: The Social Democratic Party of India has warned the Congress leaders of dire consequences if they continue to target the SDPI workers. A video, which has gone viral on social media, depicts SDPI Dakshina Kannada District President Abubakkar Kulai is heard warning the Congress, has sparked row. 

While addressing a public gathering, he said he has been observing that the Congress leaders are overcome by desperation at the growth of SDPI leaders during the last ten years in the Mangaluru Assembly constituency.

"The Congress party was disappointed to note the growth of our organization. As many as 58 representatives have emerged from this constituency. Seeing this, they (Congress leaders) are unable to bear our growth, and hence they are engineering attacks on our workers by hiring small-time goondas. You (Congress leaders) must be ashamed of it. Till now we had kept our heads low, but we have two 'Ms" with us. One is Manpower and two is Muscle power," Abubakker is heard saying.

"If you touch our workers anywhere. We will use our one M. Be careful. Our leaders have told us that if you want to join the SDPI, you should be ready for everything. You should be ready to sleep in hospitals. You must be ready to go to jail. You should be even ready to go to the graveyard.

"That doesn't mean that we will bow to you (Congress leaders). We know how to send you to that same hospital. And we also know how to send you to the same graveyard. We are going to respect the law of the land. We are giving respect to the law of the land. Hence, dare not touch our workers," he threatened.

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