Spain issued a health warning to parents of young children on Wednesday following a spike in the number of poisonings caused by hand sanitisers.
This year alone there have been 874 reported cases of intoxications from hand sanitising gels compared to just 90 reported cases in the whole of 2019, a rise of over 900%.
As a result, the Spanish government has urged parents to be vigilant and to keep sanitiser gels out of reach of children.
It is believed that 368 of the cases were in children under the age of two with the vast majority of cases involving those who had ingested the gels.
Nearly all occurred accidentally, with 84% of cases caused by oral ingestion. 7% were through the eyes, 3% via inhalation and 2% through exposure to the skin.
According to Antonio Alonso, director of the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences (INTCF), 80 per cent of the patients had recovered within days with no fatalities reported.
Some of the reported symptoms of those who were infected were vomiting, coughing, diarrhoea, sore eyes and blurred vision.
In a video message to families via his Twitter account, Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo warned of the increase in poisonings and asked parents to be careful with hand sanitiser gels. He said, “Let’s protect ourselves, let’s protect them”.
The INTCF stressed the need to make sure that these products are always kept out of reach of children and that youngsters must always be supervised by an adult.
With more than 900,000 registered COVID-19 cases and with 12,000 new cases reported on Wednesday Spain has struggled to get to grips with the pandemic with a reported 33,000 fatalities since the initial outbreak.