Throughout childhood children are encouraged to share; however, sharing unclean toys can be potential dangerous to your child’s health. Properly cleaning and disinfecting toys is a topic that many parents have questions about. Many wonder if it is safe to use bleach, what about toys that cannot be washed and so on. The following information and tips will help to ensure that the toys your children are playing with are all clean.
It is recommended that all toys be cleaned if they will be shared; however, baby and toddler toys need to be cleaned regularly each day. Younger children tend to place toys in their mouths, it is important that you wash the toy before allowing another infant to play with it.
There are some toys that you can just wash with soap and water; however, there are some toys that you should clean with bleach. To clean these toys with bleach you should use one gallon of water and around one or two teaspoons of bleach. Adding more bleach will mostly likely not get the toys any cleaner and is not recommended. It is extremely important that you rewash the toy and make sure that no bleach is left over. You can also use a bleach and water combination to clean areas around the house like the changing table. It is important that you remember not to mix any other chemicals with the bleach. Most chemicals are okay on their own; however, if you mix them toxic fumes can be produced.
To be completely honest, I was a little bit uneasy with cleaning my child’s toys with bleach. If you have this same feeling, another great way to disinfect toys is by placing harder surface toys in the dishwasher. If the toys are lightweight, you may want to think about tying them to the rack with twisty ties or something else.
Many plush stuffed animals can be cleaned right in the washer or dryer. Be careful when placing these items in the dryer, because some materials will react different than other. When I was little my mother washed a pair of plush monkey slippers and after she dried them, they were fuzzy and not furry anymore. There are some talking electronic toys that are not washer safe. These items will have to be surface washed by hand.
Parents and day care providers with more than one child onsite may not be able to properly clean toys right away. Many day care providers recommend that you set up a bin that is out of reach from the children. After a younger child plays with a toy, you should place the toy in the bin until you can get around to properly cleaning it later.
In addition to toys, playpens and sleeping areas should be properly cleaned. I find it easier to purchase the disinfecting wipes for these items. For the home, these items should be cleaned at least once a week. Daycare centers with multiple children should clean playpens and other sleeping areas daily. Parents and child care providers also need to remember to regularly wash and change bedding.
Toys for older children should be regularly washed; however, many experts say that they do not have to be cleaned as often as baby toys. If you have a sick child in your care, it is extremely important that you keep an eye on the toys that he or she plays with and do not allow other children to handle the item.
There are thousands of cleaning chemicals and they all have different uses and guidelines. Before you use any chemical to disinfect your child’s toy, you should properly read the label. If you have any doubts or questions you can check the label for a customer service hotline number, do not be afraid to call and ask. If you have any toys that you cannot clean or find it hard to clean, you might want to consider just getting rid of them. Allowing children to play with dirty toys is not fun and can pose health threats to your family. Keep everyone healthy by keeping all toys clean.