By Yasma Baalbaki
A four-year-old child in the UAE “severely injured her eye after hand sanitizer from a foot-operated station was accidentally squirted directly into it” (Khaleej Times).
According to Khaleej Times, The girl was immediately rushed to the hospital, and doctors “administered antibiotics to prevent infection, and applied eye drops to reduce discomfort. She was diagnosed with a near-total corneal abrasion caused by the alcohol and alkaline chemical additives in the sanitiser.”
During COVID-19, the public has been taught to constantly wash and sanitize their hands. However, most of the public sanitizers are placed at a height suitable to adults rather than children. Therefore, when children reach for sanitizers, it is most likely for the chemical substance to reach their eyes rather than their hands.
In fact, Dr. Brian Armstrong, a staff physician at Cleveland’s eye institute said: “There has been a rise in ocular injuries in children caused by the unintentional exposure to hand sanitizers from self-dispensing units”.
Finally, parents must teach children to resort to soap and water rather than sanitizers. If that is not possible, natural hand sanitizers are recommended.