Calm children playing with  toys in home interior
Δρ. Χαρα Παπαγεωργιου

Dr. Chara Papageorgiou

Keeping toys clean

Winter is the most common season for many contagious illnesses, like the flu and other viruses. Especially now, with the COVID-19, we have to be extra careful and take measures to protect ourselves and our children.

In this article we will talk about toys and how we can keep them clean and germ free.

Toys are being used by kids throughout the day. Children may sleep with their toys, play with them, toss them on the floor, carry them to places they go, share with their friends, put them in their mouths and who knows what else.

Except visible dirt, toys, as any other surface, may carry bacteria, mould, allergens and even viruses. It is thus really important for all toys to be properly cleaned and sanitized before they are used by our children.

There are many ways toys can be cleaned and sanitized, according to the structure and the material the toys are made of. There are toys that can be cleaned with hot soapy water, or put in the washing machine or the dish washer. On some toys you can use a bleach solution or other antiseptic products. In any case, you should always rinse with plenty of fresh water, in order to remove any chemicals from the toys and make sure they are completely dry before children use them. Be extra careful with cleaning toys with built-in battery packs, mechanical or metal parts, as water may damage them.

Mould is especially dangerous to health and when you can’t effectively remove it from a toy, it’s better to toss the toy out. Mould often grows on bath toys because of the damp environment of the bathroom. Prevent mould and bacteria from bath toys by squeezing as much water as possible out of the toys and letting them to air dry after each use.

How often a toy needs to be cleaned, depends on how much it gets played with. Toys though, should be cleaned regularly when they are used by more than one child. Especially in places where there are many children, such as kindergartens and schools in general, toys should be cleaned very often.

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