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Covid-19: 63 cases of children having received hydroalcoholic gel in the eyes reported

These children, aged 4 years on average, presented eye symptoms, report the health authorities. Some of them had to be taken care of in the emergency room.

By Le Parisien with AFP
On August 31, 2020 at 19:22

Be careful not to let young children use the hydroalcoholic gel dispensers alone , the health authorities warned on Monday, after the report of about sixty cases of projections in the eyes "having led to eye disorders".

"Between May 11 and August 24, 2020, 63 cases" of children having received hydroalcoholic gel in the eyes and "having presented eye symptoms, aged on average 4 years, were recorded by the poison centers", warn the Ministry of Health and ANSES in a press release, after a census of incidents that occurred in establishments open to the public.

Three-quarters of these accidental projections occurred "in a store or shopping center", where the distributors made available "are often at eye level with young children" and "can be perceived as a game" when can be operated "using a pedal or automatically", they explain.

Two cases of corneal involvement

20% were treated in the emergency room, most often with redness, pain or inflammation of the eye or eyelid, while “two cases of corneal damage, reversible after symptomatic treatment, were recorded ”.

During the same period, ophthalmologists in French hospitals also reported "more than ten children" treated "for severe eye injuries with difficulty in healing", at least two of them having " required surgery under general anesthesia ”.

Also, ANSES recommends “not to let young children use or play with the dispensers” and “for the attendant to take the solution or the hydroalcoholic gel in the palm of his hand and apply it to the hands. child's hands ”.

Possible lesions

In case of projection in the eye: "immediately rinse the eye for about fifteen minutes under a stream of water", indicate the health authorities, specifying that "the delay in rinsing is very detrimental and involved in severe lesions ".

“After rinsing, if the child has a sharp pain, consult an ophthalmologist or call a poison control center who will guide management. The hydroalcoholic solution being able to have an anesthetic effect, the pain can subside after a few hours even though there is significant eye lesions ”, they add.