Does ethanol poisoning affect children differently than adults?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Ethanol poisoning is much more serious in children than adults. Their smaller body size allows for very quick absorption of the alcohol into their bloodstream, and it takes a much smaller amount to intoxicate a child. Youths who purposely binge drink are at high risk for developing an alcohol abuse problem. Underage drinking is associated with impaired physical, mental, and social development. Accidental ingestion can occur with many household products, such as mouthwash. If your child has ingested alcohol, contact 911 or the National Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.