Have you ever looked at the bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk and wondered, "Hmm, could I get drunk by taking a few sips?" Me neither. But then I'm not a teenager!
So it should surprise absolutely no one that the ER patients who prompted California health officials to issue a warning to the world about the dangers of drinking from that bottle of cleanser were all under 20. They saw the words "contains alcohol" on the bottle, and you can guess what happened next ... glug, glug, glug.
Sigh. The sanitizer warning doesn't worry me, honestly. It's what it represents that will keep me up at night when my kid hits the teen years.
Hand sanitizer is legal. It's safe (supposedly). It's the kind of thing any parent would buy and hand to their kid without thinking twice. And that's the problem, y'all.
You can hand a kid the most benign object, and you just never know how they will bastardize it to fit some devious intent! And if you're sitting there, shaking your head, and saying, "Uh uh, not my kid," you can stop right now. All kids do this. It's a rule of growing up.
Even the good kids want to figure out how to be more like the grown-ups ... that's the path we set them on after all. We are telling them that they need to start acting more and more like adults. Only without the ability to actually access "grown-up things," they have to get creative.
Enter the idiot who decides quaffing hand sanitizer is a great way to get blitzed. It's ironic that this particular warning is about hand sanitizer of all things. Talk about something specifically designed to do GOOD for our kids! It fights germs! And when you consider the rather unhygienic habits of teenagers, handing over a bottle of this stuff seems like a no-brainer.
It's akin to the ease with which parents have stocked their kitchen cabinets with cinnamon for years. Who would have ever imagined that the stuff they loved on their oatmeal as toddlers would be killing kids who are taking the so-called "cinnamon challenge"? I could keep on listing stuff that's in my house for completely legitimate reasons, but has been used by teens over the years in dangerous ways ... but I don't want to give my daughter any ideas!
We can't stop buying the normal, everyday products we use just because we're afraid of what our kids will do with them. So what's left? Talking, talking, talking, until we're blue in the face ... that's our best weapon as parents.
When kids are drinking hand sanitizer, what do you fear is next?
Image via bratha/Flickr