Bath toys undoubtedly help with getting children into the tub, but they’re also magnets for mold. If you’ve ever squeezed a bath toy and it oozed black, watery gunk, then you’ve seen the evidence of mold. Here’s all you need to know about it:
Where does mold grow?
Mold has the potential to grow in almost any place that traps moisture, and this includes bath toys, humidifiers, nasal aspirators and even teething rings. An example of this is when Tommee Tippee’s sippy cups made headlines after parents discovered black mold inside the spout on the underside of the lid.
Various retailers have also struggled with mold in their products.
How dangerous is mold?
Although it gets a really bad rap, mold is generally not dangerous, especially when it’s present in very small amounts. There’s no need to panic if your child accidentally ingests mold – their body will digest it and dispose of it.
Unless your child has immune problems, you shouldn’t worry about your child accidentally ingesting a squirt of moldy bath toy water. The likelihood of them getting sick from this is almost zero. However, you should be wary if your child does have a mold allergy. This is because exposure can cause itchy eyes and skin rashes.
With regard to the above, it must be said that there is a distinction to be made between a limited amount of mold and an indoor environment that’s moldy. Exposure to mold in an indoor environment has been shown to cause upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughs, wheezing and asthma in healthy people.
How can I tell if my kids’ toys contain mold?
Mold on the outside of a toy is easy to spot and clean, but it can be a lot harder to detect mold that’s lurking on the inside. Inspect toys with holes in them by filling them with water and squeezing the water out. Dark gunk that comes out with the water is indicative of the presence of mold.
Keep in mind that there are certain toys that need to be broken apart in order for you to see inside of them, but this will most likely ruin them.
How can I get rid of mold in my kids’ toys?
If you have a suspicion that there might be mold in one of your kids’ toys or sippy cups, then you should throw them away and replace them, because it can be quite hard to get rid of. Larger toys can be cleaned by being left to soak overnight in ¾ of a cup of bleach mixed with one gallon of water.
Should you have a humidifier that’s cause for concern, you should clean it weekly to prevent mold build-up. Clean it more thoroughly with distilled vinegar or bleach once a month.
Conclusion: Prevention is better than cure
Try plugging bath toys with a dab of hot glue to prevent water from getting trapped inside. Boil them periodically, and also wash them in the aforementioned bleach and water mixture. You can also put toys in the dishwasher. Always allow them to dry thoroughly after cleaning.
Images by Deposit Photos.