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Ontario Poison Centre

Hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers


Hand sanitizers usually contain a high percentage of alcohol, often ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. The additive fragrance can make them attractive to children, leading to licks/tastes of the gel or liquid. A small/taste ingestion will not intoxicate a child.

Poisoning Risk

Dependent on dose/amount ingested.

Low in small/taste amounts.

Expected Symptoms

  • Possible upset stomach (discomfort, nausea, isolated episode of vomiting or diarrhea).
  • Symptoms of intoxication can range from mild (drowsiness, slurred speech, upset stomach) to severe (coma, seizures).
  • Children are more susceptible to a drop in their blood sugar level at toxic amounts.

Home Treatment

  • Provide juice or milk to drink, or a snack.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.


  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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