A doctor at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has warned of the severe risks to children’s eyes due to unintended exposure to self-drip hand sanitizers, as most hand sanitizers contain a high concentration of alcohol, which begins to penetrate the surface of the cornea immediately.
The hospital’s health care team succeeded in treating a four-year-old girl who had severe damage to the cornea, as the hospital stated that the accident recently occurred when a girl operated a package containing hand sanitizer, which was operated by the foot, and installed in a public place that the child was visiting with her family, and her eye was exposed. Hand sanitizer gel.
A consultant doctor at the Eye Institute, at the hospital, Dr. Brian Armstrong, who was part of the health care team that treated the girl, said that the case was the first of its kind that the hospital treated, as it required the placement of an amniotic membrane, warning that children’s eye injuries caused by hand sanitizers that Containing alcohol has been on the increase worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic.
He pointed out that earlier this year, data from the French Centers for Poison Control reported that the incidence of children’s eyes exposure to hand sanitizers increased by seven times, between April and August of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
“Hand sanitizer droppers in public are often located at waist level for adults, but this means that they are at eye level for children as well, so the chances of children getting sprayed in the eyes are very high,” Armstrong cautioned.
He pointed out that in the case of this child, the pain may have increased over time, with the penetration of the alkaline solution into the depth of her cornea, and in such cases, we recommend washing the eye immediately with abundant water, and it may be necessary to open the eye manually, and it is very important that the washing be away from the eye proper, in order to avoid further damage.
He said that “this type of injury we usually see among workers who are exposed to toxic substances, or to the leakage of chemicals at work sites,” warning that the delay in treating such injuries “may have serious consequences for children compared to adults, because the sense of sight is still restricted Growth at such an early age, when the sense of sight cannot grow and develop as it should, and the risk of developing blurred vision is higher at this age, and the possibility of complications after corneal transplantation, if necessary, is much higher at this age.”
Armstrong advised parents to “use soap and water, as well as hand sanitizer, with their children, wherever possible, and if this is not possible, parents should use chemically neutral and natural hand sterilization solutions, and that this is under strict supervision, and teach their children to use only Only a small amount, making sure that the hands are completely dry before touching their eyes. If children rub their eyes with a sterilizer, they must be washed with water immediately, and a visit to the hospital if there is blurred vision or eye pain.
The girl’s parents had brought her to the emergency department at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi hospital, and she was suffering from severe pain and the inability to open her eyes. Doctors immediately washed the solution from the child’s eye, and gave her antibiotics to prevent infection, along with a drop to relieve pain, and the doctors diagnosed her condition as Almost total corneal abrasion, caused by exposure to alcohol and alkaline chemicals added to hand sanitizing gel.