The Spread of Germs
Babies and children love playing with toys; that is what they do most of the time. They don’t just play, but they also throw them around, drool on them. Just imagine how much germs, bacteria, and dirt lurks around the house. With all of this happening, babies will still put things in their mouth.
These toys are how most germs enter the baby’s body, which can make the baby sick. The risk increases when someone in the family is already sick. The germs can spread throughout the house and even reach the toys. Sometimes, when someone in the family touches the toys or other kids come and play with the kids, they can also leave behind bacteria and germs.
The baby’s immunity is always growing during that stage, and it is not strong enough to fight those some if not most of the germs. Hence it is crucial to see that the toys are handled carefully and are regularly cleaned. Regular cleaning is important, so the bacteria and germs don’t take hold of the toy. Soft and spongy toys are more prone to catch and store more germs.
The toy surfaces become a carrier of the germs, and these germs are easily swapped between the adults and the toddlers. Day-cares follow a guideline to keep their toy clean at all times; you can also maintain some effective cleaning methods at home to protect your baby from sickness.
Soft and spongy toys are more prone to catch and store more germs
Baby Toys Cleaning Hack
Soap and water
Simply washing toys using good old soap and water is a very efficient way to control the spread of any viruses or bacteria. You can easily clean toys like rattles, plastic blocks, and teethers in the sink using warm water and dish soap.
Always remember not to wash electrical toys using this method. Even toys with batteries, sound, lights, or any other electrical part should not be cleaned with soap and water. If water enters any electrical part, the toy will stop working.
Some toddler toys come with a label that says dishwasher safe. Toys like plastic blocks, rattles, plastic pegs, bath toys, and shape sorter pieces can be cleaned by placing on the top rack in the dishwasher. The soap and hot water will sanitize the toys and keep them clean. Some bath toys often develop mildew or mold on them, and they can be very easily washed in the dishwasher.
Environment-friendly surface cleaners
Many parents are concerned about the harsh chemicals present in some cleaners. They don’t want their babies to play with toys that may have chemical residue. Environment-friendly cleaners come as either spray bottles or wipes.
These cleaners do not contain dyes; they are free of parabens and are biodegradable. These cleaners can be used to wipe clean toys with electrical parts. These are also the best option to clean teethers as no chemical residue will enter or affect the child.
Wipes are the best way to clean plastic toys with lights, batteries, sound, etc. The stores have dedicated their entire aisles to disinfectant wipes, which gives you a variety of options to choose from. Plastic toys that cannot be cleaned with soap and water or in the dishwasher can be cleaned using wipes.
Wipe the toy’s surface with the disinfectant wipe properly to make sure no part of the toy is left out. Let the toy air-dry for a few minutes before you give it to the child.
For items like pacifiers, special wipes are available with the label pacifier wipes. These wipes are made of food-grade sanitizer products, making it safe for the baby to put in their mouths.
The right way to clean baby dolls and stuffed toys
Most of the time, people clean stuffed toys and dolls by putting them in the washer and then the dryer. These stuffed toys and dolls can get ruined after repeated washing and drying. They also lose their softness. To increase the stuffed toys’ longevity and clean them properly:
- Place the stuffed toy in a pillowcase while machine washing. You can also place it in a mesh laundry bag that is used to wash stuffed toys.
- Place the toys inside the bag and then wash on a gentle cycle and dryer.
- Ensure to check the label on the toys for better knowledge.
After washing, check the stuffed toy for loose threads, eyes seem, or anything out of place and will not be safe for the kid to handle. When stuffed toys are washed while in a bag, they don’t get harmed much, and they remain clean and soft.
Play Areas can Spread germs
Kids can quickly spread the bacteria to others, and bacteria from outside can easily get in touch with the kids. If other kids enter the room and play with the toys or adults touch the toys, they can either catch bacteria or give the child bacteria. Kids are taking their toys in their mouths all the time, so their toys must stay clean.
Special care should be taken during visits to playgrounds, day-care centers, or play dates. When there are people or kids from outside in the same room, they tend to bring the germs. In this case, make sure your child touches the least amount of toys and doesn’t put it in their mouth. Carry a gentle food-grade sanitizer with yourself and make you’re your kid stay away from the germs.
Toys should be cleaned when they start looking dirty. But even if they’re not dirty you should regularly clean them, like at least once a week, for toys that aren’t used as much. Toys that are used daily should be cleaned daily. Germs and bacteria cannot be seen with bare eyes, and hence you never know how many germs are actually on the toy. These germs can cause sickness, and if the child is already sick, germs can spread to other members of the house quickly.
Cleaning and disinfecting both have different jobs, and both are important. Soap and water will help you clean the toy, but won’t get rid of the germs and viruses. If the child is sick or anyone else in the house is sick, disinfect the toys more often. This will reduce the risk of anyone getting affected by a disease.
You can either follow the normal routine of cleaning the toys with water and soap, dishwasher and then disinfect them with wipes or sprays. But you can also go for bleach solution cleaners dedicated to clean and disinfect toddler toys.