Contributed by ProNatural Brands
Santa Claus has paid a visit to millions of young children this holiday season, bearing gifts that will keep them entertained for hours. Busy parents are also happy their kids have new toys they can enjoy and play with.
“However, parents need to know that, with use, those toys can become contaminated,” says Lee Chen, CEO of ProNatural Brands, a marketer of citrus-based cleaning solutions. “And this contamination can last for hours, if not days.”
This means that if a child plays with their toys and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth – or food they are about to consume – they could risk their health. This risk increases if more than one child plays with the same toy.
Chen believes cleaning professionals should be aware of these issues. “Our customers turn to us when it comes to protecting health, whether it involves cleaning surfaces in an office or [on] children’s toys.”
So, to keep kids safe and avoid the risk of serious illness, Chen suggests we do the following:
- Read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions if available.
- Toys made of plastic or rubber should be cleaned using hot water and sanitized frequently depending on how often the child plays with the toy.
- Be aware that, in most cases, cleaning and sanitizing are two different things. Cleaning removes soil on the toys; a sanitizer eliminates (kills) most germs on the toy.
- To save time, use a one-step citrus-based cleaner/sanitizer. At least one is EPA registered and proven effective at eliminating a wide range of microorganisms in just one step.
- Avoid using disinfectants or chlorine bleach products. These can have ingredients that can be potentially dangerous for our children.
- Some toys can be cleaned and sanitized by placing them in the dishwasher. This procedure is effective if the rinse water temperature is hot enough, over 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Finally, never have a ‘give and forget’ attitude toward children’s toys,” adds Chen, “Doing so can have serious health consequences for our kids.”