Have you ever wondered how sanitary your baby or toddler’s toys are? Most toddlers have the ability to grab toys and put them into their mouths. This is especially true for babies and toddlers that are teething. Keeping toys clean can help prevent illness from spreading.
Does your baby or toddler use a teething toy? Good Housekeeping recently reported that a popular toddler teething toy called Sophie the Giraffe has the potential to grow mold inside it. Some parents, who cut apart Sophie the Giraffe, discovered that the inside was coated with black mold.
Carolyn Forte, the Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, says the best way to prevent mold inside plastic toys is to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and dried. She recommends you clean washable plastic toys in hot, sudsy, water or in the dishwasher. Then, disinfect them with a solution of ½ cup Clorox bleach per gallon of water. Soak the toys for five minutes, rinse them well, and let them air dry.
Fischer Price points out that there are two basic steps to cleaning baby toys and equipment. Cleaning involves scrubbing with soap and warm water. It removes the grease and grime and washes off many germs. Regular dish soap can be used for cleaning baby and toddler toys.
Sanitizing is done with a sanitizing solution. You need to clean the toys before you can sanitize them. Fischer Price says that an effective sanitizing solution can be made with 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 quart of water, or ¼ cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Properly diluted bleach is considered non-toxic and safe for sanitizing children’s toys.
You can find more specific details about cleaning toys that are made of different materials on the Fisher Price website. They point out that it is a good idea to check the toy’s label and to follow the cleaning directions that are listed on it. Fisher Price recommends that fabric toys be washed in the laundry with laundry soap and hot water.
Lysol suggests that parents clean baby and toddler toys that have batteries in them by wiping the outside of the toy with warm soap and water. Use a Lysol Disinfecting wipe to sanitize the outside of the toy. Be sure the wipe the toy one more time with a clean towel before handing it back to baby.
Clorox points out that it is very important to clean and disinfect hard plastic toys after your baby or toddler has been ill. Doing so reduces the chance he or she will pick up the “bug” again from a toy that wasn’t cleaned.
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