Alcohol Content in Medicines and Household Non-beverage Products May Hurt Your Kids

It’s common knowledge that alcohol abuse is prevalent among adolescents and adults. Aside from statistics that show the number of accidents and injuries caused by alcohol drinking, there are also studies that link alcohol consumption to sleep disruptions, as well as social isolation in teenagers. Recently, the NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) run a report on kids that may be exposed to products with alcohol content, such as medicines and household non-beverage items.

alcohol on household productsAlthough Benadryl, Cheracol Plus, Dimetane, Donnatal, Geritol, Novahistine, Robitussin, Sominex, Triaminic, Tylenol, and Vicks may often find their place in your medicine cabinet, some remedies can contain up to 25 percent alcohol. Similarly, household items like mouthwashes, rubbing alcohol, and after shave lotion can have alcohol content to help dissolve certain ingredients or preserve the products.

In most cases, giving your kids these products in the right dosage is not harmful, but some children may not have the tolerance to absorb even small amounts of alcohol. According to the NCADD headline, they once received a report from a woman whose 11-year-old child experienced seizure while taking a shower. The child’s blood test result reveals an elevated blood alcohol level, which was most likely the cause of the child’s symptoms. From the mother’s accounts, the child was being given an SSS Tonic, an over-the-counter high potency liquid iron/B vitamin supplement, which contains 12 percent alcohol – equivalent to a 24 proof beverage.

In younger kids, ethanol can result to low blood glucose, an important sugar for brain cell function, because it suppresses the normal body functions that convert a liver substance called glycogen. Children who have not eaten for a while is susceptible to hypoglycemia even in small quantities of ethanol, especially since glycogen in kids is not stored in quantities as large as adults

Keeping some household products out of your children’s reach is as important as reading the label of the medicines and over-the-counter dietary supplements you’re buying. Don’t leave things to chance. Likewise, avoid giving your kids more than your health care provider’s instructed dosage. Unless prescribed by your child’s doctor, you shouldn’t give your children more than one product with alcohol content. Medicines and dietary supplements that contain alcohol should also not be given to children below 2 years of age.

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