After girl's hospitalization, school bans alcohol gels
by TP staff
Mar 17, 2010 | 3646 views | 20 20 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Tracy private school has banned alcohol-based hand sanitizer after a third-grader ingested enough of the gel to land her in the hospital last week.

The West Valley Christian Academy student is fine now, but on March 9 suffered an “adverse reaction” after licking the gel off her hands, Principal Teresa Smith said.

The child was taken to the hospital from the school, at 1790 Sequoia Boulevard.

The school until last week had stocked in every classroom jugs of the germ-killing gel, which can contain up to 90 percent alcohol.

Parents donate jugs to help protect kids from spreading colds or the flu.

Now, the school will only accept alcohol-free hand sanitizer, Smith wrote in a letter to parents of 250 kindergarteners through eighth graders.

Tracy Unified School District provides alcohol-based hand sanitizers to a few schools, Gary Jayne, director of material management said.

He said a Tracy Unified safety committee that meets quarterly is evaluating whether to discontinue allowing the substance in classrooms.

The Academy’s Smith said at a Parent Teacher Fellowship meeting earlier this year, she’d encouraged parents to send hand sanitizer without alcohol.

“Now we’ve made the administrative decision to not allow it on campus at all,” she said.

Roberto Alaniz, director of Disease Control and Prevention at the San Joaquin County public health department, said he recommends schools require children to wash their hands with soap or use non-alcoholic sanitizer to reduce risks.

Contact Tracy Press reporter Cassie Tomlin at 830-4225 or ctomlin@tracypress.com.
Comments
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ConcernedNeighbor
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March 19, 2010
I hope the little girl won't be given a hard time by her peers since they would have heard the comments their parents made. I hope she is okay, not sure how much alcohol she ingested.

I agree with tomgreen123.

We are soft as a nation compared to others, they KNOW how to survive, do we?

Parents, perhaps you need lesson in hygiene, sneeze into the arm or elbow, not hands. Keep hands away from your face, make sure your kids follow your example.

And don't lick what was on your hand, ugh!

CN

CN
tomgreen123
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March 18, 2010
Are you kidding? One girl does something dumb and now the who Tracy Unified S.D. is gonna see whether to ban this stuff? Are you kidding?

How long have we had this stuff around, and when the first kid decided to lick it, all of a sudden it's a danger to all?

I can see if kids every day were getting sick from this stuff but one child does it and it's out with the alcohol gel?

This society is raising a bunch of sissies. Protect everyone from everything! What the hell ever happened to "live and learn"?

What next? Protective covers on stoves to keep kids from burning themselves? If they do it once, normal kids won't do it twice. "Once bitten, twice shy."

Come on people, no wonder other countries hate us, you're all a group of germaphobes and sissies.

tracyresdnt
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March 18, 2010
J.C.! What a bunch of inept potato heads this country is raising. Darwin says, 'let there be alcohol-based hand sanitizer'.
dewichmansmall
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March 18, 2010
As a mother to a child with autism, anything we or her therapist use either in the form of a hand sanitizer, or food item we research. When I was treated for H1N1, our pediatrician suggested using a non alcohol based sanitizer (they use it in the emergency room and hospital rooms) and if we had to use the alcohol based sanitizer then to watch as the child rubs it into her hands until it is spread all over the hands in a think layer and almost dry which takes about 5 seconds, our child is not able to fully communicate with us so if something happend to her, this is something that her therapists and special education teachers do.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/sanitizer.asp

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/medical/a/hand_sanitizer.htm

http://www.upstate.edu/poison/pdf/pp_info_sheets/websht_Hand Sanitizers.pdf

I am happy to hear that the child is doing well.
1219tracy
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March 18, 2010
How much gel did she eat? Maybe I'm wrong but just licking your hand shouldn't make you sick. How fast would this make you sick? Are they sure it was from the sanitizer and not something else? Schools do have to be careful because parents will sue over anything. On the surface it seems like an over-reaction.
tommytat
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March 18, 2010
Thats to bad that a child had to be checked out for such a silly act.Facts though all kids do silly things that might result in getting hurt.But changing policy or rules to accomidate a certain act is just as silly. Lets put a band aid on it.To prevent any future problems with childrens stupidity,Put them in protective suits,helmets,take away anything that can go in mouth,velcro them to class seats,etc....

Sounds pretty silly?things happen folks.and has been for anyone who has been a child before,which we all have.
Gramma1
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March 18, 2010
Some parents will sue over the smallest thing even when it is their childs fault. That is why schools have to be so careful. When I was a child in school they could use mercurichrome on cuts and phisohex.
sb2482
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March 18, 2010
Just another sign of where America is going.....I am not pro or anti alcohol based hand sanitizer and I am sorry a child had to be hospitalized but ONE child does something dumb and gets sick so a new rule has to be made.

If one child falls off his/her bike at school will they ban bicycles at school. If one first grader eats paste and throws up will they ban paste? Perhaps parents or a teacher could tell the eight year olds that hand sanitizer is to be rubbed into their hands to prevent illness but don't lick it off, even if someone dares you to, because it will make you sick, .

Better yet, just keep passing nanny laws so that no one, anywhere, ever gets hurt in our oh so litigous society because heaven knows there is no room for common sense or personal responsiblity or learning that for every action there is a consequence.

Have the parents of the hospitalized child sued the school yet??

Yesterday, at my office I was attacked by goose protecting his mate while I was walking by the lake on the campus. I have a bump on the head and a scratch on my arm. Should I sue my employer or simply accept the fact that it was stupid of me to walk so close to a goose protecting his mate? I choose the latter because the former makes me someone I don't want to be.
mnwild
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March 18, 2010
As bad as a feel for this child and his/her parents, I agree with mommyofhree.

Sanitizer tastes as bad as soap (and yes I did a "taste test" to confirm my suspicions) and I'd bet the child has been taught not to put soap in his/her mouth. It's about educating children, especially young ones when something new or different enters their lives. There are products and situations children will encounter every day that will "test" them. No matter what the age, they need the "tools", a little bit of common sense, and lots of love and support from adults they can ask questions of to NOT end up with an "adverse reaction" or worse to something they encounter.
ConcernedNeighbor
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March 18, 2010
Think of licking the bacteria and viruses off your hands? One reason many kids get strep throat.

Parents, take the time to explain "germs" to your kids and to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth. Bacteria and viruses are easily transmitted this way. Teach them, less trips to doctors' office.

CN

PS. Wondered if she did it on a "dare"?



drstu58
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March 18, 2010
Given the obvious and known dangers re: alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the fact that the CDC made this same observation in September of '09 when acknowledging that non-alcohol hand sanitizers are just as effective for those schools that have prohibited alcohol-based products, it merely makes one wonder what this particular was thinking (or drinking) when it promoted alcohol-gel for use by kids.. There are PLENTY of non-alcohol hand sanitizer products-most use the same organic compound that is used in products such as Bactine antiseptic...Brands? "Soapopular", "Hy5" and others are readily available...good blog on the topic is www.handhygienefacts dot blogspot dot com
Simpleton
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March 17, 2010
The alcohol based sanitizer was replaced with alcohol free sanitizer so the writer with concerns about students getting H1N1 and germs can stop stressing. Google the affects of alcohol based sanitizer for an education and many of the negative comments will end! As a parent I am very thankful knowing this will not happen to my child at WVCA,
LAM75
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March 17, 2010
Let's do this:

Keep the hand sanitizer with alcohol in the schools and have an ambulance in the parking lot just in case. Just an idea. I'm joking commenters. This is like an article in the Sunday funnies! (It's nothing against you Cassie Tomlin!)
mommyofthree
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March 17, 2010
oops, didn't write anything in the first one. lol

Ok, so this is really dumb. My 3 year old even knows not to lick the sanitizer off of his hands. I mean really, a third grader? Did the parents not teach this kid anything? And why keep sanitizer from everyone? Why don't they just make sure the sanitizer eating kid stays away from it. When the class gets H1N1, cold or flu they know who to blame....! LOL My goodness...
mommyofthree
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March 17, 2010
anonymus21
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March 17, 2010
This is something WVCA WOULD do. They always have an absurd reaction to preventable or unimportant events. Though what happened was an emergency, to risk the health of the kids by removing hand sanitizer is just dumb. Perhaps educating the children NOT to ingest it would be the best thing to do. They just blow things out of proportion and further put the kids in situations that are unnecessary. Lets face it not every elementary school student will wash their hands with soap and water. Alcohol based gels KILL most bacteria and is totally effective. YOURE RISKING THE HEALTH OF THE STUDENTS!
Simpleton
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March 17, 2010
This school does not STOCK JUGS of hand sanitizer. Parents send in small bottles. The girl was NOT hospitalized. She was treated and released. Get the facts straight if you are going to write stories like this.
Simpleton
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March 17, 2010
shelly13
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March 17, 2010
Maybe we should also ban schools from having grass just in case someone wants to eat that and has an adverse reaction to the fertilizer. This is soooo stupid.
LAM75
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March 17, 2010
This is probably one of the most wackiest articles I have read! Please don't get on my case because I feel that way! Why is alcohol in the sanitizer the reason why the girl was hospitalized? "Adverse reaction" might mean 'drunk' pointing to the alcohol in the sanitizer? Exactly how MUCH gel did she consume in the first place?


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