Keep kids safe when using hand sanitizer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keep kids safe when using hand sanitizer

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Happy Time preschool and Daycare at Cedar Valley Community Church in Waterloo teaches children the basics when it comes to staying healthy: Wash your hands often, use hot water and don't forget the soap.

"We wash hands at different times during the day. Before snack time, we do it after outside playing and especially this time of year whenever we cough," said Mark Stuenkel with Cedar Valley Community Church.

Happy Time doesn't use hand sanitizers because hand washing is the best option and to avoid the possibility of a small child accidentally swallowing the germ killer.

"Sometimes small kids are unpredictable and they'll wind up putting their hands in their mouth and that includes if they have hand sanitizer," said Stuenkel.

"They probably aren't aware how to use it properly. They might use too much or they might not rub it in properly," said Dr. Arla McVicker with Covenant Clinic in Evansdale.

Dr. McVicker said hand sanitizer is a good alternative if you don't have access to soap and water, but only when children are closely supervised.

"Different types are available that use non-alcohol but the alcohol are the best for hand sanitizing and there's a potential danger for alcohol poisoning," said Dr. McVicker.

Besides hand sanitizer, McVicker said wipes are another alternative. The best option, though, is always soap and water. Dr. McVicker said it's best not to use hand sanitizer on children younger than two. If you keep it in your home, keep it out of reach of children. If your child does accidentally ingest some, call poison control immediately. According to poison control, ingesting as little as one to two ounces could be fatal to a toddler.

Online Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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