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Cleaning up Toys to Avoid Germs and Bacteria

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In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, Cleaning up Toys is more important than ever to keep children safe. Here are some tips on how to do that effectively and safely.

Playing at Home More

Due to the restrictions of the pandemic by Covid19, the kid has a lot of time to enjoy alone at home. However, this does not mean that there is no risk of contagion since when parents go out for a moment to buy or walk the dog; we can accidentally contaminate children’s plaything.

Cleaning up Toys is Necessary

The WHO points out that the keys to reducing the risk of contagion are to wash your hands well, maintain social distance and avoid closed places. It also notes that Covid19 does not significantly affect children. However, it is necessary to consider cleaning measures to reinforce and prevent some contagion and prevent the virus from infecting vulnerable people.

For germs and bacteria, kids’ playthings are a breeding ground. Given that the coronavirus outbreak is increasing now, maintaining children’s health is the main thing. One way that must be applied is to clean children’s games regularly. Dolls, robots, and other toys are nests of germs and bacteria. Moreover, the coronavirus can stick to the surface of the toy. There are techniques and natural remedies that do not imply any risk to the health of our children.

Young toddlers

Playthings spend some or much of the time on the face or the mouth of young children, so you should try to keep your toddler clean and free of germs and mess. At this time, when we have a new virus circulating (COVID-19), there are many doubts about what we can do to make the kids at home safer. In addition to the recommendations for Hand Hygiene and Avoid Contact with People with Symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing), keeping children’s toys can help reduce transmission at home.

The steps for cleaning and disinfecting the playthings will depend on the material (hard plastic, stuffed animals, cloth, etc.), the factory instructions, and what you will use for cleaning.

Young Children

Children, when they enjoy, manipulate their playthings and then put their hands or fingers in their mouths. Even when they are younger, they tend to do that. They do this more often when their teething starts to break out to scratch their gums because it bothers them.

With the encouraging and active participant, kids can also do it out of curiosity since they enjoy experiencing new sensations. Whatever the reasons for these acts, they are not usually concerned with the hygiene of the objects they touch or are introduced into their mouths. This represents a tremendous imminent risk to your delicate health.

The Importance of Cleaning up Toys

Prevent your children from getting sick from their playthings?

It may be unavoidable for the young ones to put his/her plaything, or their hands, into their mouths after playing with it. However, there is something you can do to prevent further damage. Make sure to clean your children’s plaything!

With these good habits, you are maintaining good hygiene in the objects that your little world uses or handles to minimize the vulnerability of being infected by any germs found in them. Disinfecting playthings is a sanitary measure, thanks to which you will notice that your children stay healthy longer. This is because playthings are one of the main routes of disease transmission for infants.

What harm can dirty toys cause to children’s health?

The dirt on your children’s plaything can cause anything from “simple allergies” to poisoning and serious infections or other diseases that lead to death. It is not to be alarmist or tabloid, but it is reality. Bacteria like E. coli cause deadly diseases. Also, fungi and other agents cause respiratory and skin allergies.

Germs live in the toys

Now that you are indeed in a state of alarm, due to this worrying information, you must be wondering what you can do to protect the life of your kids. Don’t worry; here we present the most effective solution!

Sanitize your children’s toys!

Indeed, you have already thought that cleaning playthings are enough to eliminate any risk of contamination. However, you should know that there is a suitable way to clean each type of plaything properly. A stuffed animal and cloth playthings are the most difficult to keep clean. The materials made and their textures cause them to retain more dirt and dust.

It is best to wash them with detergent, disinfectant, and, if possible, chlorine. They should also be left to dry in the sun long enough to not damp, and there is no risk of fungus forming.  On the other hand, cleaning plastic or rubber games is easier. It will be enough to use a brush, soap, disinfectant, and, if possible, bleach. For the necessary time, it is also essential to let it dry. Even if the specifications indicate that you can use hot water, you should use it.

It is a bit more complex in toys containing electronic devices or batteries since you will have to use a damp cloth, careful not to get these parts wet. Of course, this cloth must be impregnated with a disinfectant. You can use a dry cloth not to expose them to the sun. It would be exhausting to carry out this cleaning work with all the toys daily, so it is recommended to plan moments of deep cleaning every 15 days. And daily at the end of the day cleaning with wipes or clothes.

How to prevent toys from getting too dirty

Parents often leave their children’s playthings within reach at all times, thus exposing them to dirt and germs. Stuffed animals and cloth playthings should be stored in dry places and inside a plastic bag. This prevents them from getting dusty.

Other games can be put on unique shelves or boxes. The young toddler can collaborate, use their toys daily, and organize them with the help of their parents. Thus, in addition to protecting your young ones’ life, they will also learn that they have a responsibility to maintain an order at-home routine.

Teaching Kids

One of the ways to teach toddlers autonomy is by giving them some tasks and responsibilities at home. It is about taking on small, simple jobs that are not overwhelming and even fun. For example, in educational methods such as Montessori, these tasks are incorporated into learning very early. In this way you can teach the kid gradually learns to be autonomous, first taking care of storing their toys and books, dressing, or helping to clean or recycle.

Incorporating symbolic enjoyment can also help your kid get used to taking housework and family care as a natural part of their responsibilities at home. Good support and help for children in toy cleaning sets, mops, and cleaning kits.

Toy Sink

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Playing and entangling with water is one of the activities that a child likes the most, so any cleaning toy that incorporates water adds one more element of the plaything will be a sure hit. Washing dishes or mopping the floor can be some of those fun activities. Symbolic happiness, once again, allows them to learn while having enjoyment. Some of the games that can be a support for this type of entertainment are these:

In daily routine, check out this toy sink with a tap and controls that simulate the sound of opening and closing so that the little family can wash authentic dishes. It has a small water pump that, when pressed, makes the tap work. Thus, your kids can wash the toys and utensils they have used to enjoying with and have enjoyment with the water for a while. Removing the drain plug empties the sink. Includes a frying pan, tongs, a spatula, plates, knives, spoons, and cups. Quite a display! It is a plaything designed for kids from 2 years old.

The classic Vileda bucket and mop, designed for kids, is the perfect cleaning for symbolic enjoyment. It’s another good way to make your little ones want to help out with household chores. They are designed for boys and girls from 3 years old.

Toy Vaccum

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Another element of cleaning that usually attracts a lot of attention from boys and girls are mechanical and electrical appliances. A simple vacuuming routine with supervision is also a wonderful activity that they can undertake depending on the age of the little ones. But if we prefer that they use a vacuum cleaner of their size. They can play with an intelligent vacuum cleaner. It’s enjoyable to watch him move and help do his bit to keep his room and play space clean without mess. It is designed for kids from 5 years old.

The hygiene hypothesis.

Even so, and despite the recommendations, professionals assure that maintaining a sterilized or excessively aseptic environment can be counterproductive. Its advocates argue that the immune system tends to train less and worse by drastically reducing the number of challenges that the environment offers humans.

In other words, the more sterilized environments, the lower the number of antibodies generated and the greater vulnerability of our system. Therefore, it is necessary to take all the precautions and recommendations pediatricians share in caring for our child, but without extreme measures/ realistic expectations. You should teach them to exchange with their peers and freely explore the world around them to foster their social skills and psychomotor development.

Ideas to keep games organized

We present below a series of ideas for storing playthings, which will have to be seen which one best suits your room, considering dimensions, materials, etc.

Stuffed animals

If you have a hammock that you bought years ago and is not in use in the back of your house, it is a good resource. Hang it between two walls, and it is a beautiful place for stuffed animals. We can also use a network.

You can also use those bags used to organize shoes since they have several divisions to store different types of playthings, you have to hang them on your house wall, and that’s it.

Plastic ice cream containers

Plastic ice cream containers, used in party favors or cake houses, are a beneficial and inexpensive resource. You can even decorate them with your child, with bright colors, or with the drawing that goes inside.

Hooks

If there is a place on the walls to put several hooks, we can store the playthings in fabric bags and hang them on the hooks.

Shelves

Shelves or shelves are another option. Just make sure they are placed at a height according to the child and firm, especially if we put heavy playthings on them.

Unused toy

If you have playthings that your child does not use, either because the child has grown or is still too young to use them, do not leave them in the way; better keep them in a suitcase until it is time to donate or to use them.

Plastic baskets

You can also use stackable plastic baskets. They are convenient since they occupy little space when they are stacked. Never stack more than 2 or 3 baskets, as they may fall and injure your young ones if you are near them. If there are playthings that are left outside, since they are to play outdoors, to prevent their metal parts from rusting or breaking due to the effects of the sun and rain or becoming filled with dirt, it is best to keep them inside a plastic basket with a lid and without holes.

Trunks

The trunks are ideal for any child because they can move their games from one side to the other without much effort.

Lidded box

If you use a lidded box and it does not separate, check that the latch so that the top stays up while the child puts the plaything away is secure so that it does not fall on the child and injure him. Nowadays, there are boxes whose lid is open no matter the angle of opening it has.

Older toy

Older children’s playthings should be stored on high shelves in your house so that the little kids do not have access to them. Games for an older child can be hazardous for the younger child. Check the wooden boxes from time to time and verify that they are not chipped or broken.

Explain to your kids the primary purpose of storing games in order and avoiding possible accidents, such as falls and trips when stepping on any of them. Also, they will break more quickly if we leave them on the floor instead of ordering them where they should be.

It is also essential to teach children how to remove these games from their place to avoid moments of frustration if they cannot do it, especially when taking down the bags or opening boxes or trunks.

Child’s toys

Our kids are prone to diseases when they touch the playthings. They tend to put them in their mouth because it is one of the ways to explore the environment around them.

The best plaything for children according to their age

What a pleasure when we see that our children, nephews, or grandchildren have enjoyment and do not get tired of playing with that plaything we give them! The only thing complying with the safety conditions that should matter is a gift that the children enjoy very much. These are some examples of the ideal games and playthings, which can serve as inspiration to find the perfect gift:

From 1 to 3 months

  • Various mobile cars
  • Cloth books or figures with black and white pictures or pictures to stimulate the newborn’s vision
  • Rattles

4-7 months

  • Softballs, especially those that make soft, pleasant sounds like a song when moved
  • Plaything s that emits sounds such as maracas, tambourines, bells, etc., cloth pianos
  • Transparent rattles
  • Water-filled bathtub toy
  • Educational blanket

8 to 12 months

  • Games that can be stacked in different shapes, colors, and sizes like large fabric blocks
  • Unbreakable cups, buckets, and other containers
  • Large dolls and puppets
  • Books with windows
  • Phones
  • Push or pull playthings
  • All types of balls of all sizes

12-24 months

  • Simple puzzles
  • Digging games (shovel, bucket, rake)
  • Outdoor games: slide, hammock, sandpit, etc.
  • Beginner tricycle
  • Plug-in games
  •  Games that encourage them to imitate everyday situations (kitchen, telephone, vacuum cleaner, etc.)
  • Animals and stuffed animals
  • Dolls and puppets of all sizes
  • Musical instruments for song practicing

2 years

  • Little cardboard or fabric house, where he can hide and have a fun game inside the fantasy house
  • Music to dance and sing the song
  • Farms with animals
  • Dolls and accessories for dolls
  • Trolleys to transport things

3 years

  • Games with dough, clay, plasticine
  • Simple board games like cards, ludo, dominoes
  • Puzzle task
  • Clothing to dress up
  • Books
  • Pedal cars
  • Basketball
  • Plastic Bowling Set
  • Little trains
  • Bicycle with wheels
  •  Scooter

4 years

  • Blackboard / magic blackboard
  • Bubble games
  • Paints, brushes, watercolors, cases
  • Playthings and dolls to assemble and disassemble
  • Marionette and puppet theater
  • Colored pencils and crayons

5 years

  • Games based on sports such as ball, soccer goal, basketball hoop, racket,
  • Child microscope
  • All kinds of costumes and makeup boxes
  • Scout kits and accessories
  • Tracks of cars, trains with tracks
  • Visual memory games
  • Jump rope, elastic
  • Dolls

6 to 8 years

  • Experiment games
  • Microscope, telescope
  • Magic games
  • Sets of pieces to assemble or glue
  • Puppets
  • Sets for sewing or knitting
  • Gardening games to plant your little plant
  • Race circuits
  • Photo camera
  • Roller skates
  • Digital games (link to video games)

How often to clean and disinfect?

According to the toxicologist, one thing I always remember is that cleaning and disinfecting games is enough every week or 2 times a month. However, when these are shared with several children – such as in nurseries, doctor’s offices, nursery schools, etc. – the playthings must be washed and disinfected every week.

If we find the plaything visibly dirty, of course, we should wash it on the spot. He suggests disinfecting them after several children played with them to avoid transmitting infectious diseases.

Right Way to Clean Children’s Toys

Because they feel that games are kids’ best friends, not a few parents let their kids play with their playthings without paying attention to the cleanliness of the playthings for their healthy life. Before it’s too late, Mother can clean the playthings based on the type of material.

1. Toys made of plastic or rubber without batteries

Some children’s plaything is made of rubber or plastic types without batteries. To clean this plaything, you can put the toy in the sink, bucket filled with water, or the sink. 

Process

You can use warm water to wash this type of plaything. Use dishwashing liquid and soak toys in the sink or water in a bucket. After that, to scrub small, unreachable crevices, use an old toothbrush. Rinse in 1 cup vinegar to 10 cups water to naturally disinfect playthings. At the end of the day, before nap time after cleaning, leave it on the dish rack to dry.

2. Plaything s in the bathroom

Take a look at how many plastic ducks are in the bathtub. Don’t just make your little one calm while bathing. Also, check the cleanliness of this rubber plaything because these bath games tend to carry mold, soap foam, E.coli bacteria, and mixed mucus.

Process

To keep this rubber plaything clean, mom needs to mix a disinfectant solution consisting of 1 drop of tea tree oil, five drops of vinegar, 20 glasses of water, and soak the toy for at least an hour. Thoroughly rinse with disinfectant while gently scrubbing the toy with an old sponge or toothbrush. After the initial cleaning stage is complete, you can wash like the stage of washing rubber game without batteries.

3. Rubber or plastic games with batteries

Any appliances that run on batteries cannot be immersed in water, so only use a bath sponge or special cloth that has been soaked in water.

Process

Remove the battery if possible, and dip a cloth in hot water and add a little detergent. Squeeze the cloth and then wipe it firmly over the game, avoiding the area around the battery compartment. Finish with a wipe that has been given vinegar that has been dissolved with water. Use a dry towel to dry this plaything. Dry it as best you can before installing the battery.

4. Playthings with fur or hair

Playthings like Barbie, My Little Pony, Monster High, or all fur playthings must be kept clean.  Especially for Barbie, who always has permanent marker marks on her eyes, Mom can remove permanent markers from plastic doll faces using a magic eraser or cotton buds dipped in nail polish remover.

Process

Once the pieces of plastic are clean, give the doll a hair treatment using standard shampoo and conditioner. This type of kids’ shampoo can be the best choice. You only need a drop or two. Wet hair, massage well-haired or hairy plaything, rinse well. Comb the hair while the conditioner is still in the hair and rinse thoroughly. Place the doll until the fur or hair is dry well before returning to enjoy with the child.

5. Games made of wood

You can easily clean his type of plaything.

Process

Use a slightly damp cloth (almost dry but not too much) dipped in equal parts vinegar solution and prepared water for wooden washing playthings. Mom can gently wipe the wooden game with the cloth. Ensure the plaything doesn’t get soaked, preventing the wood from drying out and warping. Dry by leaving it in a dry place away from moisture.

6. Dress-up

Most girls’ clothes are not far from toys, putting clothes or beads on dolls. Not only paying attention to the doll, but you also have to pay attention to the clothes and supporting accessories.

Process

Wash using a mild detergent such as washing wool. Using a brush or sponge, gently rub this plaything without the mess.  After the clean-up process, rinse and rinse again. Do not squeeze, but dry in the shade. Trim the tulle, satin, and lace as they dry. Invite your child to clean his playthings too to be more concerned with cleanliness and health.

Last Words

Keeping your home clean and disinfecting your toy well are vital points to consider. The young toddler enjoys playing with them, throwing them on the floor, and then touching their faces: cleaning the toys and disinfecting the place where children play is helpful if we want to protect our own.

If you like this article about Cleaning up Toys and would like to know more, please comment below.

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CraftyThinking is a company that strives to inspire creativity in children by providing them with the opportunity to explore their creative side through art and crafts. We are about helping parents give their child an outlet where they can explore their creativity without worrying about the mess or time commitment!

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