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Child Safety: Washing Toys to Prevent Germs

Overview

Washing and disinfecting toys and surfaces helps reduce the spread of germs, especially in child care settings or other areas where many children are together.

  • Store dirty toys in a bin that is out of your child's reach.

    When a toy gets dirty, such as after a child has played with it and put it in their mouth, put it in the bin. If you can't wash the toys right away, set them aside to wash later.

  • Scrub toys with soap and water.

    This works well to remove germs from surfaces. This method is a good choice for surfaces that might be damaged by chemical disinfectants, such as some furniture.

  • Disinfect toys and surfaces when you can.

    Dishwashers are a convenient and effective way to disinfect some toys. Chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach are used to disinfect surfaces and objects. You can find a wide variety of products with varying ingredients. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions exactly as printed on the label.

  • Do not mix bleach with other liquids or cleaners, because the mixture can produce a toxic gas.

    Bleach should be mixed only with water. Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.

Credits

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics