Hand sanitizer has caused a rise in eye injuries in children, study in France finds

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer sales took off, but with the increase in use also came an increase in eye injuries.

Researchers in France discovered that children have been getting the liquid into their eyes at an alarming rate in the past year.

Researchers have a theory that it could be because public hand sanitizer stations are placed at eye level for many children.

There were seven times more of these types of injuries reported between April and August than in the previous year, according to data from the French Poison Control Center.

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Here are some steps doctors recommend you can take to help protect your children from injury:

  • Promoting hand washing with soap and water over hand sanitizer
  • Teaching and training children how to use hand sanitizers
  • Having separate dispensers at shops and malls for children, preferably at lower height (i.e. below face level)
  • Placing caution signs next to sanitizer dispensers


Dr. Kathryn Colby, from the Grossman School of Medicine's department of ophthalmology at New York University, said that parents also need to make sure their child's eyes are quickly examined by a medical professional if they are exposed to alcohol sanitizer, with early diagnosis and treatment likely to reduce the long-term consequences of chemical injuries to the eyes.

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CNN contributed to this report.
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