Playing with toys is one of the most fun things about being a kid, but those toys could be responsible for spreading germs and kids getting sick. Not only are toys around the house breeding grounds for germs, but daycare facilities pose even more risks due to toy sharing between children.
This article will discuss the importance of toy cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of germs that cause colds and flu. Different types of toys should be cleaned in different ways, so it’s important to learn the optimal cleaning strategies to prevent colds in toddlers, babies, and even school-age kids.
Colds and the flu are the most common daycare illnesses that are spread between children. Even the very cleanest of daycare centers harbor germs because kids regularly put their germy hands and toys in their mouths and rub their eyes.
Other sicknesses that are commonly spread in daycares include pink eyes, stomach flu, and hand, foot and mouth disease. Some sickness, such as ear infections, are not necessarily contagious but still make kids uncomfortable at daycare. In general, kids under the age of three are more likely to get sick at daycare than children who do not interact with other kids. However, children who do not attend daycare are more likely to get sick when they first start school.
It is very important to teach kids from a very early age the importance of washing the hands and practicing good hygiene. Also teach kids now to cover their mouths when sneezing or coughing, how to bundle up in the winter, and skip goodnight kisses while sick.
Daycare centers should sanitize toys that infants and toddlers put in their mouths before they are shared with other kids. It also helps to disinfect door knobs and other surfaces around the center and also in the home to prevent the spread of germs.
The best cleaning method for toys depends on what the toy is made of. For example, plastic toys can be cleaned in warm, soapy water with vinegar. They can also be placed in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes or run through the dishwasher.
Fabric toys can be placed in the washing machine on a hot cycle as long as they don’t have a battery pack or make noise. For quick spot cleaning, stuffed animals and knitted toys can be cleaned with a baby wipe. It is best to simply wipe down battery-powered toys and wooden toys with a damp microfiber cloth. Toys made of metal, such as toy trucks and trains, can be cleaned by mixing bleach and water to sanitize them.
Probably the best and most sustainable way to prevent a cold in toddlers is to ensure that their immune systems are equipped to fight off germs. Parents and caregivers can do this by feeding kids a well-balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, encouraging physical exercise, and making sure kids get enough sleep each night.
PediaCare’s cold relief products for cough, runny nose, congestion, and multi-symptom sicknesses are safe and effective to use for many common daycare illness symptoms that kids suffer from. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends that kids get flu shots to prevent sickness, especially in the winter. Finally, foods rich in vitamin C and supplements can support a healthy immune system all throughout the year so that daycare can be a time of fun and not sickness.
In this parental guide to cold relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!