Due to the pandemic and the need for excellent hand hygiene in order to minimise the spread of Coronavirus, more people are using hand sanitiser than ever before. One significant change is the introduction of hand sanitisers for consistent use in schools by children. As well as encouraging regular hand washing, schools have introduced the use of hand sanitiser for pupils and staff at regular intervals throughout the day. Additionally, families are keeping hand sanitisers in vehicles and homes and all shops have introduced hand sanitiser stations at entrances, exits and points throughout their stores.
Whilst much of the UK will be under lockdown this Guy Fawkes Night with large, organised bonfires and firework displays not taking place, it is expected that families may instead opt to host their own small fireworks displays in homes across the nation. Whilst this seems like a good compromise, worryingly, many parents and caregivers are unaware of the extreme danger that exists, when mixing the use of alcohol hand sanitisers or alcohol hand gels, with sparklers, fireworks, matches or lighters.
Alcohol vapours can ignite when exposed to ignition sources such as those above and, so as to reduce the risk of burns and substantial distress to families (not to mention further pressure on the NHS at this crucial time) it is vital that alcohol hand gels are not used in the presence of open flames or sparks. Even a build-up of static electricity from handrails can cause sparks large enough to ignite alcohol gel which has not fully evaporated.
In the interest of safety of both children and adults, an alcohol-free hand sanitiser is by far the more appropriate choice. There have already been several cases reported of children suffering burns due to the ignition of alcohol hand gel from contact with sparks, however Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th November is traditionally when children would be exposed to more sources of ignition.
INVIRTU alcohol-free hand foam sanitiser is available from Amazon and is trusted by the NHS to protect against 99.99% of harmful bacteria and viruses, including all enveloped viruses.
Children should always be supervised when near or using sparklers, toasting marshmallows, watching fireworks displays and hand sanitisers or any other chemical products should be kept out of reach.