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
February 14,2024

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 14: PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi. The temple has been built using ancient architectural methods clubbed with scientific techniques.

The temple, called BAPS Hindu Mandir, has been built with over 300 high-tech sensors to measure temperature and monitor seismic activity, no metal has been used in the construction of the temple and fly ash has been used to fill up the foundation.

The grand temple has been built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mreikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

Mahant Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opened the BAPS Hindu Mandir with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the Vedic ceremony.

On arrival at the iconic temple standing on 27 acres of land, Modi was received by Pujya Brahmaviharidas Swami, the project head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, and Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami. Modi visited a 3D centre, which offers a 12-minute immersive experience about the temple's vision and journey.

The grand ceremony was attended by thousands of devotees and dignitaries, making it a momentous occasion for the UAE and India.

The Mandir is the epitome of cultural diversity and depicts values shared between different religions. The iconic hand-carved traditional stone temple, assembled on site like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle, is a celebration of architectural excellence and highlights the richness of ancient civilisations. People started flocking in from morning hours to catch glimpses of this masterpiece.

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News Network
February 13,2024

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New Delhi, Feb 13: The Delhi government on Tuesday rejected the Centre's proposal to convert the Bawana Stadium into a jail in view of the farmer's march to Delhi.

Delhi Government Home Minister Kailash Gehlot acknowledged the demands of the farmers and said it was incorrect to arrest them for protesting.

"The demands of the farmers are genuine. It is the constitutional right of every citizen to make a peaceful protest. It is therefore incorrect to arrest the farmers..." Gehlot said.

The farmer's 'Dilli Chalo' march has started in the national capital, and farmers have started marching towards the Shambu border. Meanwhile, Delhi-NRC also struggles with traffic due to protests and barricades.

Meanwhile, key border points connecting Delhi with its satellite towns are choked amid multiple diversions ahead of a mega farmers' march to the national capital.

Long queues of cars were seen on the highways at Ghazipur and Chilla borders, which connect Delhi with Ghaziabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

A commuter stuck on the DND flyover said he could travel "only a kilometre in over an hour". "The traffic is standing still for the past 30 minutes. Cops are saying the road is not entirely closed, but checking is being done very thoroughly at the fencing area ahead," he said.

The traffic is slow on NH-48 too, which connects Delhi with Gurugram, and vehicles are being checked before entering the national capital.  

Several border points, including Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri, have been fortified to prevent the protesting farmers from entering Delhi.

Concrete blocks and layers of barricades have been erected on highways to stop tractors and trollies from rolling across the border points. Barbed wires and nails have also been installed on the roads.

The farmers held talks with a government delegation last night, but there was no consensus on three of their key demands - including a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).

Authorities have barred the entry of goods vehicles from entering Delhi via the Greater Noida Expressway, Delhi Traffic Police said in its latest guidelines. Goods vehicles will also not be allowed to travel between Sirsa in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh's Surajpur via Parichowk.

Those travelling to Delhi from the DND border have been advised to take the elevated road via Sector 18 from Film City. Commuters from Chilla side can use the Sector 14A Flyover, Roundabout Chowk, Sector 15 via Sandeep Paper Mill Chowk, Jhundapura Chowk.

People must take the Mahamaya Flyover for travelling from Kalindi Kunj Border to Delhi and while using the Yamuna Expressway, commuters are advised to get down from Jewar Toll towards Khurja and take the Jahangirpur route.

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News Network
February 16,2024

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Mangaluru, Feb 16: The Mangaluru International Airport has received the coveted level-3 airport customer experience accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI), a release from the MIA here said on Friday.

Issued by the ACI on February 2, the accreditation is valid for one year. The airport had received the level-2 accreditation in December 2022.

The accreditation aims to further strengthen the continued endeavour of this public asset to enhance customer experience. Airports that participate in this process undergo a comprehensive assessment and training that includes stakeholder-employee engagement and staff development.

It is the only accreditation programme in the airport industry worldwide that provides a 360 degree view of customer experience management.

The level-3 accreditation recognises MIA for advanced practices on the specific domain of service design and innovation, airport culture, governance, operation improvement, measurement, customer understanding and strategy.

The MIA is the first airport in India under the 5 million passenger category to reach this coveted milestone, the release said.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general and CEO at ACI – ACI World in a LinkedIn post congratulated Mangaluru International Airport on achieving the accreditation, which will be conferred at the annual ACI customer experience global summit that will be held at Atlanta, USA from September 24 to 26 this year.

The airport has now set its sights on the level-4 of this accreditation, which necessitates airport-community collaboration, the release said. 

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