Health & Food
Teens drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Health officials are warning parents about a new teen trend of drinking liquid hand sanitizer to get drunk. Several Southern California teens have been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
Made up of 65 percent ethyl alcohol, hand sanitizers are formulated to kill nearly 100 percent of germs. But teenagers are using it to get drunk. Eight teens have recently been treated at San Fernando Valley emergency rooms.
"It has been actually a trend that's been going on for some time, but we're just now starting to see it hit the Los Angeles area," said Helen Arbogast of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Videos on YouTube show teens drinking hand sanitizer. Doctors say some young people are drinking it straight, while others find ways online to separate the alcohol, making it just as potent as hard liquor.
"We're talking about 120-proof alcoholic beverages, so that's like several shots of hard liquor," said Dr. Cyrus Rangan, a toxicology expert. "A few swallows is all it takes to get a person to get the intoxicating effects of alcohol.
Calls to poison control involving teens deliberately ingesting hand sanitizer are on the rise. There have been 16 cases last month, and 2600 statewide since 2010.
Doctors say parents should buy foam sanitizer instead of the gel kind, and to check the levels on the bottles kept at home.
Teens could end up in a coma if they drink too much hand sanitizer. Anyone who suspects an overdose can call poison control 24 hours a day at (800) 222-1222.
children's health, health & food, melissa macbride
- 4 hospitalized in Fullerton bar stabbing 32 min ago
- 4 kids abducted by parents in Boyle Heights
- Malaysia missing jet: Focus turns to pilots
- Comedian David Brenner dies at age 78
- Thermal brush fire contained at 350 acres 1 min ago
- Burbank man arrested in stabbing attack 4 min ago
- Gorman brush fire near full containment
- Tustin theater evacuated for investigation
- Young woman's body found in Santa Paula park
- abcnews: US travel advice from other countries 11 min ago
- Ukraine: Russian forces move outside Crimea
- Sailor in iconic WWII kissing photo dies
- Honda Odysseys recalled amid fuel leak fears
- OTRC: Jamie Lynn Spears, 22, gets married - report
- Woman's remains found at OC wilderness park
14 min ago
- Latest weather with Bri Winkler
47 min ago
- Crime Stoppers director swallows evidence
50 min ago