Are sanitizers really saving the baby from infections?

2 min read

As parents, everybody wants their child to be safe and keep them free from any infections. The most common thing that comes to my mind is “Use of Sanitizer”. There are innumerable flavors and colors now available in the markets which are usually super attractive for kids.

Now the question arises are they really good to use?

Sanitizers are convenient

Sanitizers prove to be the most convenient option when water and soap are not available. But, cleanliness may not be all that needs to come in focus all the time! Babies who are exposed to an array of dirt and bacteria for e.g. are less likely to develop allergies and asthma in the later stage of life. Frequent use of soap or sanitizers decreases the child’s exposure to germs. Especially antibacterial soaps have contributed to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in recent years. This can even affect kid’s hormonal development, according to FDA.

This can be a major cause of constant infections, as the immune system does not get a chance to develop well.

To add, some viruses are not affected by alcohol (which is the major ingredient of sanitizers); water and soap hand wash prove to be a better option there.
Sanitizers are majorly made of alcohol, and these alcohol-based sanitizers have 60% or even higher alcohol content. Whereas, if I compare a beer or a whiskey which will have either 5% or 40-45% alcohol content. Sanitizer if ingested has as high as four shots of hard liquor. Researchers claim that around 3,600 kids in the USA alone are poisoned due to ingestion of sanitizers.

Secondly, the skin of the toddler is not immune to complex cleansing agents like sanitizer, as it is not yet fully developed. Excessive use of hand sanitizers hinders the complete development of child’s skin and immunity both.
Thirdly the sweet smell of sanitizers is highly toxic for kids due to the presence of a compound called phthalates.

Quick tips

  • Use only a pea size amount.
  • Rub the hand sanitizers on the babies hand until it’s completely dry.
  • Supervise that the kid is not using it too often. Make sure that the baby doesn’t swallow it.
  • Make sure the baby isn’t tempted to lick the hands when it’s still wet.
  • Keep it away from young kids and use it only under supervision.

 Should you stop using sanitizers then?

Well, it’s best to avoid if at all you use it in case of an emergency make sure that you follow the tips I have given above.

Disti Vira, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Disti Vira, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Her fitness mantra is “do not start with a diet that has an expiration date, instead, focus on a healthy lifestyle that will last forever”. Disti has completed post graduation in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a certified Diabetes Educator. She is keen on bringing together her acquired knowledge on nutrition and other health aspects with people’s goals to achieve a healthy life. For her fitness is not being better than someone else; it’s about being better than who we used to be. “We don’t have to be great to start, but we have to start to be great". So give your best! She can be reached at for any consults.

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