Children ingesting hand sanitizer at high rates

(CNN) - Every year, poison control centers across the United States take thousands of calls about children ingesting hand sanitizer.

Many sanitizers come in brightly colored bottles and smell like food or candy, and that can prove tempting for young children.

Hand sanitizers are great for cleaning your hands when you don't have access to soap and water.

But they should be kept away from young children, especially if they contain alcohol.

Between 2011 and 2014, there were more than 65,000 calls to poison control centers because children 12 and under were exposed to alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

That's according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 97 percent of the children under five who were exposed to alcohol-based hand sanitizers ingested them.

Hand sanitizers can contain up to 95 percent ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.

Ingestion can cause serious health effects for young children, including alcohol poisoning.

Experts say hand sanitizers should be kept out of the reach of children and used only with adult supervision.

Only dime-sized amounts should be used, and children should rub their hands together until they're completely dry.

If you suspect your child has ingested hand sanitizer, don't wait for symptoms to develop. Call poison control immediately.

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