Is Your Child's Toy Safe from Mold?
The story about the popular teething toy giraffe being filled with mold drew collective “ews” from parents across the county. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just end with the giraffe. Any toys with the little holes in them that end up in your baby’s mouth or the bathtub can have mold growing inside. While this isn’t likely to cause serious health problems in otherwise healthy children, the “yuck” factor is enough to ask how we can prevent it.
Make sure excess water is squeezed from the toys after each use. Your teething baby probably isn’t getting significant amounts of drool in their teething toys but those fun bath toys can hold a lot of excess water. At the end of every bath, squeeze out the excess water and let the toys air dry.
Thoroughly clean the toys periodically. You can put most of these toys in the dishwasher, boiling water, or in a bleach and water or vinegar and water solution to kill the germs. Make sure you lay them out to air dry completely after cleaning.
Prevent the moisture from getting into the toys. For bath toys, try putting a small dab of hot glue over the hole(s) to keep the water out.
Buy teething toys that don’t have openings. Try the rings or other fun, textured, soft toys that are easier to keep clean and dry.
If in doubt, throw it out. If a toy starts to smell or has been around for a while, you may just want to get rid of it!
If you have questions about the health of your child due to his/her toys, contact your UnityPoint Health primary care provider.