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Should Kids Be Using Hand Sanitizers?

Kids and hand sanitizers? You can agree or disagree to kids using hand sanitizers but the one thing you can’t do is ignore it. There is a lot of controversy going around hand sanitizers and whether children should be using them. Add to that the fact that the internet is littered with a lot of information on hand sanitizers, its uses, misuses, benefits and side effects; it can get rather difficult to make your call about them.

Information is the key rather correct information is the key to making the correct decision. We know that your little angels and work keep you too busy to spend time on it, so we have done the work for you and filtered out the facts to help you make take the call on kids using hand sanitizers.

First things first, sanitizers are of two types- alcohol based and alcohol-free. Either variants are easily available in a gel formulations in handy bottles at nearby stores. Now comes the question of the difference between the two and how they work.

Alcohol-based sanitizers contain 60% or more alcohol to kill 99.99% of the germs on the users hands. Alcohol-based sanitizers kill germs by disintegrating the cell membranes of the germs and thereby killing them. 60% alcohol is a high very high amount and likely to cause dry skin if not fortified with moisturisers to prevent skin from drying. Luckily enough most hand sanitizers do contain sufficient moisturisers to keep the skin soft and supple.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizers usually contain benzalkonium chloride which is known to be an antiseptic and kill bacteria. The alcohol-free sanitizers are milder on the skin and do not have the strong alcoholic stench either. However, they are known to leave a sticky residual layer on the skin.

Now that we have covered the differences between the two and their modulus operandi, we can now cater to the pros and cons of both.

Alcohol-based sanitizer: Kills almost all disease-causing bacteria, approved by the FDA, dries out skin if used regularly, strong alcohol smell, can be misused, burn if it comes in contact with bruised skin, is highly flammable and can cause alcohol poisoning if ingested.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizer: is said to kill bacteria and reduce further growth for 6 hours or so, doesn’t dry skin, not approved by FDA, leaves residue on skin, fragrance free, cheaper than alcohol based sanitizer, non-inflammable, dangerous if ingested.

There is a long list of supposed pros and cons to both these types of hand sanitizers. A lot of time and money is being spent to research the effects they have on both humans and germs. As of now the research for both of them deems them safe and effective for use.

When it comes to kids however, it is best that parents make the call based on their judgement understanding and preferences for their kids. Alcohol based or alcohol free, sanitizers come in as the second most preferred method of cleaning hands after soap and water and must be treated so, especially when it comes to kids.

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