Apparently kids are now chugging HAND SANITIZER to get wasted.

The "Los Angeles Times" did a story on it the other day, because in the last few months, at least six teenagers in the L.A. area have landed in the emergency room from doing it.

It's probably not as widespread a problem as they're making it sound, but here are four things you should know if you're a parent.

#1.)  It DOES Get Them Drunk.  An eight-ounce bottle with 63% alcohol content is the equivalent of about five shots of hard liquor.  Sometimes they mix it with mouthwash to make it even stronger.

And it doesn't take much to give them alcohol poisoning.

#2.)  Some Kids Use Salt to Separate the Alcohol from the Gel.  Instructions on how to do it are all over the Internet.  So no, they're not little drunk geniuses.  They just know how to use Google.

#3.)  It's Popular in Prisons Too.  Last September in New Zealand, prisoners were caught mixing hand sanitizer with a sugary fruit drink.  Apparently the guards found several prisoners who were, quote, "highly intoxicated."

#4.)  Buy the Foam Kind, Not the Gel Kind.  If you're worried about your kids trying it, it's harder to extract the alcohol from the foam version than the gel version.  Plus, they're less likely to try chugging foam in the first place.

And the same goes for YOUNGER kids who ingest it accidentally.  Apparently some toddlers like the taste of it.