New teen alcohol trend might be most dangerous
Teens have always found inventive ways of concealing the use of alcohol, from drinking mouth wash to soaking gummy bears in vodka. But the newest trend might be the most dangerous.
Teens have now discovered hand sanitizer will not only keep them from spreading germs, it can also get them intoxicated. Most hand sanitizers contain at least 60-percent ethyl alcohol which is the same kind of alcohol found in a glass of wine but at much higher levels.
The new trend of using hand sanitizer to get intoxicated came to the attention of emergency room doctors in the Los Angeles area after six teens were treated for alcohol poisoning over a two-month period. There have been previous reports of kids becoming ill after accidentally drinking gelled hand sanitizers, but teens have now discovered ways to separate the alcohol from the gel. The result is a 120-proof shot of alcohol which is about 50 percent more potent than a shot of vodka or tequila.
While teen alcohol use has been on the decline over the past few years, it is still the No. 1 abused substance among teens and about 5,000 teens die each year from alcohol poisoning. There have not been any reports of deaths related to ingesting the alcohol from hand sanitizer but medical experts are concerned. Hand sanitizer is easily available and so are social networking sites that have directions on how to separate the alcohol from the gel.
Parents should treat hand sanitizer like any other drug they have in the house. Hand sanitizer should be kept in a locked cabinet and the use monitored closely. Parents should also be monitoring and controlling what their children have access to on the internet. Being a concerned adult not only means keeping your kids safe, it means keeping all kids safe. Keep anything that could be harmful to kids out of sight and locked up and help keep our kids safe.
Keeping Our Kids Safe is brought to you by the Delaware Police Department and School Resource Officer Rod Glazer.