Splashes of hydroalcoholic gel in the eyes can cause lesions in the eyes of children.
Hydroalcoholic gel has become a habit in very many households since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. If for adults, this gesture has become essential, for the little ones it can represent a risk for the eyes. On the occasion of Sight Day, Gilles Martin ophthalmologist at the Rothschild Foundation Hospital (Paris XIX) explains to the Parisian the dangers of this gel for children.
And the danger comes mainly from the installation of distributors in public places to be operated with a pedal. At children’s face height, the gel can easily land in their eyes. If the systems have improved since the start of the health crisis, the situation remains worrying: “Today, there are fewer children affected. During the summer of 2020, we saw at least two a day in consultation, today it is much less, it must be said. The message has become commonplace. I also think that parents are more careful and that the use of hydroalcoholic gel has decreased. In some places like parks, vending machines are much less crowded“.
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Watch out for the burn
If necessary, it is recommended to apply the gel directly to the hands of children and not to let them use themselves to avoid splashing in the eyes: “When there is an important projection, with a rinsing which is badly done, it has the effect of a burn and the child keeps the eye closed and can no longer open it. We can see on examination that the surface layer of the eye, the epithelium, is gone. A treatment is then given to hydrate the eye, and promote regrowth of the epithelium. It should be remembered that alcohol can cause anesthesia of the eye“.
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