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Beverage alcohol
, or ethanol, can be very dangerous for children.  Always make sure that all containers of alcohol are correctly stored and out of the reach of children. 


Children can become intoxicated by a very small amount of alcohol.  It can cause a child's blood sugar to fall to levels that are too low, which can cause seizures and unconsciousness.  Alcohol can also cause nausea and vomiting.


Children’s sense of smell and taste are not fully developed, so they may think that alcohol is juice, soda, or water.  Those with dementia may mistake ethanol-containing products for their drink.


Overconsumption of alcohol at all ages can be dangerous.  People with very high blood alcohol levels are at risk of becoming so sleepy that breathing becomes dangerously slow, or even stops.


Many medications can have interactions with alcohol.  It is important to check that there are no interactions when starting new medications.


There are many over the counter products that contain alcohol and can also cause intoxication including:  


  • Mouthwash
  • rubbing alcohol
  • perfume
  • cologne
  • air fresheners
  • ·nail polish removers
  • after-shave
  • most hand sanitizers

Make sure to properly store all forms of alcohol out of the reach of children. 

Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for questions about an exposure to alcohol or for more information.

Last Updated on 12/20/2023