- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Toys are around children most if not all the time and sometimes may cause infections and even diseases if not cleaned and disinfected especially in Kenya where almost 8,000 children below the age of five died from diarrhea-related diseases in 2015.
When playing they touch them, put them in their mouths and even share with friends. Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, a professor and children’s health expert at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, recommends that toys be cleaned regularly like one a month but exceptionally when a child vomits or pours food on it, or when they toys fall on the ground.
Here are few tips on how to clean and disinfect toys.
Use a dishwasher detergent
If a toy is washable like a dish place it in the sink and wash it like you do other utensils with the detergent which mostly includes a disinfectant and put them to air dry.
Soap and hot water
Hot water is known to kill germs and clean very well. This is best for large plastic toys, wood toys and those with batteries.
1. Boil water
2. Take a cloth and wet in hot water
3. Apply soap and squeeze excess water and clean the toys by wiping
4. Put them out to dry
This is a safe and easy way to disinfect toys
1. Ensure the toys are clean. Use soap and water
2. Dilute chlorine bleach use the ratio indicated in the instructions
3. Soak the toys in the mixture for three to five minutes
4. Leave the toys to air dry
Fabric toys like teddy bears can get ready dirty. Put them in a washing machine just like you do clothes. Do not put those with batteries as they may get ruined. To avoid them getting very dirty wipe frequently with soapy water.
These are simple and easy ways that should be done frequently to minimise chances of infection in young children.