Veronica Roberts

[5.8.12, San Fernando Valley, CA]--Last year it was "bath salts" but now our youth have moved on to another strange but dangerous new trend. Drinking hand sanitizers to get drunk is all the rage for some teens these days.

Yes, hand sanitizers, I kid you not. Just type that on YouTube and numerous videos pop up with teens slugging back what was meant to clean bacteria from our hands. Those doing it seem to think it is one big joke, judging by the shenanigans in the videos but the number of kids being rushed to emergency rooms tell a different tale.

In California, six San Fernando Valley kids experienced just that when they reportedly ended up in the hospital after hand sanitizer binges. Teens have figured out how to separate the high concentration of alcohol from the gel.

The young tend to think they are invincible, but doctors say this new fad is dangerous and can be deadly. Hand sanitizers are a reported 62 percent proof alcohol and can cause alcohol poisoning or toxic shock.

Signs that kids may be in trouble is slurred speech or other obvious sings of intoxication accompanied by an intense burning in the stomach. Doctors are warning parents to be vigilant and pay closer attention to what their teens are doing.

Opting out of buying the gel sanitizers for the foam ones instead may be the safer purchase to leave around the house and in schools. However, this might safeguard younger children more than teens. Teenagers are more independent and get around on their own--thereby having access to groceries, pharmacies and other stores where hand sanitizers are sold. How do you monitor this age group who can legally purchase the product, then use it where they cannot be seen?

The authorites will have to get involved and pharmacies, grocers and other outlets will have to be on alert. This can prove to be a daunting task to execute. After-all, sanitizers are a household product and monitoring this can bring up all sorts of legal issues and accusations of government over-reach and over-legislation. Americans will certainly not want to have a prescription to purchase hand sanitizers now, would they?

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