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Kids Are Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizer

Photo by Valerie Everett via Flickr
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If there's one thing we know about kids, it's that some of them will find any way -- any way at all -- to get drunk or high. The latest method of intoxication for the youth? Drinking hand sanitizer.

The LA Times broke the story yesterday, reporting that six kids in the Valley had shown up at the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. The teens apparently learned how to use salt to distill the alcohol in the sanitizer, which results in a liquid that's essentially a shot of hard alcohol.

City News Service notes that the practice is fairly new. Helen Arbogast, and injury prevention coordinator in the trauma program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, told CNS: "We are seeing more kids in the emergency departments for this type of alcohol poisoning...We went from zero to six cases. We never had it before.''

Parents, meanwhile, can add one more list of household items to monitor. Experts say they should keep an eye on hand sanitizer the same way they would keep an eye on the liquor cabinet.

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Although all that probably means is that teens will move on to something else.