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
June 23,2022

Bengaluru, June 23: The Income Tax department was conducting raids at the offices and buildings of some reputed private educational institutes in Bengaluru on Thursday.

According to sources, the I-T sleuths were conducting raids since early morning on Sri Krishnadevaraya Education Institution, Reva University and Divyashree Institute and others in Bengaluru.

The raids were taking place in multiple locations simultaneously. Both corporate offices and education institute buildings were raided at more than 10 places.

Sources said that an I-T officers' team from the Karnataka and Goa Zone were conducting the raids. A team of 250 officers from the Income Tax Department were involved in the action.

The raids were being conducted following complaints that the institutes were charging heavy amounts of fees from foreign students, were blocking seats and indulged in tax evasion.

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News Network
June 25,2022

A member of parliament from Kerala has written an ‘urgent’ letter of appeal to the Union Minister of Civil Aviation to initiate urgent action over the ‘unprecedented’ hike in airfares from the Gulf region.

CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala Dr V Sivadasan wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on June 25, requesting the Minister to oversee the steep hike in airfares.

Airfares during the summer travel seasons from Gulf countries, including the UAE, will almost quadruple from July 1.

Schools in the region close for the summer so, several expatriate families fly home for the holidays.

Sivadasan wrote, “Foreseeing the upcoming surge of passengers as the Gulf countries are getting into summer vacation and the festive occasion of Bakrid (Eid Al Adha) the Airlines have made a hefty increase in the flight charges from Gulf countries to India.”

He said in the letter, “This unprecedented hike in fares is putting a heavy toll on the life savings of Indian workers in Gulf countries.”

“Taking into account the immense financial stress imposed by Covid-19 and economic slowdown, I request your kind intervention into the matter so that the Indian diaspora, waiting to come to their homeland are not fleeced by the flight companies,” stated Dr Sivadasan.

He requested Scindia to intervene and initiate urgent action.

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News Network
July 5,2022

Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is very likely over east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Konkan area of Maharashtra, Goa, coastal Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada) , and Kerala, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The monsoon trough is active and south of its normal position at this time of the year. There are strong westerly winds along the west coast in the lower tropospheric levels, IMD bulletin said.

"The low pressure area over north Chhattisgarh and neighbourhood now lies over north Chhattisgarh and adjoining northest Madhya Pradesh and the associated cyclonic circulation extends up to 5.8 kms above mean sea level, tilting southwestwards with height," it said.

Widespread light/moderate rainfall is likely to continue over many parts of west coast, central India and islands.

The IMD also predicted isolated to scattered rainfall over rest parts of the country.

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