We’ve all been taught the common practice of proper hand-washing techniques. Now hand sanitizers seem to have taken over.

Hand sanitizers are everywhere! There is little doubt of their efficacy.

Both homes and schools allow unsupervised use without batting an eye.

Yet there can be a problem in substituting them for hand-washing.

Could some people suffer from not maintaining their hand-washing habits?

Safety Problems with Hand Sanitizers


According to Snopes, ingestion of hand sanitizer can result in alcohol poisoning. It doesn’t take a lot since some can be over 60% alcohol (which is comparable to 120 proof)!

In fairness to the companies that produce these items, they do usually contain a clear warning to “Keep out of the reach of children.”

Yet for some reason, the warning isn’t always needed, especially with regard to at-risk populations.

Caregivers may not always see what is happening with dementia patients when the product is so readily available.

Perhaps fear of the flu has caused a bit of a premature rush to judgment in deciding proper use of these products.

Due to the strong scent, a number of people are over-stimulated and keep reaching for more.

There is some disagreement among medical professionals as to how much is too much.

Nevertheless, there can be an obvious and potential safety hazard.

Caregivers may need to exercise more control over the availability of such products to ensure healthy practices.

The Need to Supervise the Use of Hand Sanitizers

Unintended use of hand sanitizers when needed but without monitoring may expose vulnerable seniors to the possibility of intoxication or alcohol poisoning.

Some may use it excessively, rubbing it all over like lotion, inhaling it repeatedly, or even lick it.

Maybe it’s time to update our best practices upon the realization that unfettered use of the substances may not always be wise.

In addition, if a family member is seen as at-risk for these problems you may want to consider alcohol-free products.

Is Hand Sanitizer Being Substituted for Hand-Washing?

In both homes and senior residences, people have far too easy accessibility to these products.

In addition to the dangers of ingestion, there is the danger of not being trained to wash hands regularly.

Keep in mind that hand-washing is the #1 way to reduce and kill harmful infections.

In flu outbreaks, the most often heard refrain from the medical community is the importance of hand-washing.

Yet many seniors and caregivers may not be utilizing suitable habits in order to develop the significant layer of safety brought about by frequent hand-washing.

Hand-washing has often been taught both at school and at home.

With the convenience of hand-sanitizers, there is a tendency to squirt one’s hands rather than go to the trouble of seeing that hands have been washed.

Such an easy fix can lull people into much too frequent use at the expense of hand-washing routines before eating, after using the restroom, and countless other needed times.

Do Hand Sanitizers Have a Proper Place?

This is not to say hand sanitizers are bad, as the effectiveness of the sanitizers regarding the spread of contagions is widely accepted, as many hospitals and clinics across the country use them regularly.

The unanswered question is whether it is really more effective than hand-washing, a number of health professionals warn us that exclusive use of hand sanitizers will not substitute for diligent hand washing.

So one might deduce they each have a place in our cleanliness regimen.

It could be that society is a bit too relaxed. Now that it is known that hand sanitizers work, people are not continuing to give appropriate attention to the vital need for the value of careful hand-washing habits.

Hand sanitizers do have a proper place, but folks would be well-advised to be sure they are continuing good habits of hand-washing and only using sanitizers when hand-washing is not available.

Since being a senior requires a little more watchfulness of your health, above you saw reasons to continue rigorous hand-washing, then hand sanitizers still have a place since we often find ourselves without access to soap and a sink.

So when you hire a Papa Pal at joinpapa.com to help lessen the workload of caregiving or to enhance your senior experience with transportation and socialization, remember to take sanitizer in the car.

However when possible continue to practice faithful and thorough hand washing.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)