How to Keep Toys Germ Free October 18 2017, 1 Comment

A parent’s job is to keep their children safe. Following cold prevention procedures can prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that could lead to dangerous illnesses.

A recent study from the University at Buffalo revealed common bacteria can live on surfaces outside of the body for longer than previously thought. The researchers found that Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes can live on surfaces such as toys, books and cribs for weeks or even months. Toys are important objects to keep sanitized because they could be shared with other children or left on the floor or another contaminated area. According to Web MD, children often spread the flu to others by sharing toys.

According to the study, “S. pyogenes commonly causes strep throat in children and can cause skin infections and other serious infection in both children and adults.” Additionally, scientists say S. pneumoniae is a leading cause of childhood ear infections as well as illness and death from respiratory tract infections in children and the elderly.

The lead researcher on the University at Buffalo project concluded, “commonly handled objects contaminated with these biofilm bacteria could act as reservoirs of bacteria for hours, weeks or months, being vehicles of spread upon contact.”

Hand Washing

An obvious first step to stop the spread of germs is by following proper hand washing procedures. Web MD recommends these steps:

  • First, wet your hands with water
  • Add soap
  • Rub hands together vigorously for 20 seconds
  • Make sure to rub the wrists, between the fingers, and under the fingernails
  • When you have time, use a nailbrush, as germs often hide under nails
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry with a clean paper towel or air dryer

Establishing a Cleaning Routine

In addition, it is important to have hygienic cleaning practices to prevent the spread of germs. Routinely washing toys handled by children will kill bacteria lurking on the surfaces. According to Redbook Magazine, "Germs can live on toys for long periods of time, so it's wise to sanitize the items used most often and those that frequently get put in a child's mouth — still, unless a sick child has played with them, a monthly cleaning should suffice."

Bleach is a common sanitizer used in many cleaning routines, however there are many adverse health issues that could impact children as a result of exposure to the chemical. An Occupational and Environmental Medicine study examined the cleaning patterns of households in Spain, the Netherlands and Finland. Overall, the study concluded that across all three countries, children of bleach users were more likely to experience infections. Children in homes cleaned with bleach were more likely to get the flu once per year and were also more likely to have recurrent tonsillitis.

Ozone: A Natural Alternative

Ozone is a preferred alternative to bleach because it is 3,000 times more effective and leaves no chemical residue behind. Since ozone kills bacteria and viruses, it can be used in cleaning routines to keep toys sanitized. For example, soaking toys in ozonated water will help disinfect the surface. 

This can all be done with the small, lightweight Aqua-6. When using the Aqua-6, there is no need to purchase or store any chemical materials or replace any filters.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Plug in your Aqua-6 
  2. Fill glass or bowl with water
  3. Place white or gray dispersion stone into the water container
  4. Be sure to place the stone no more than 4 inches deep
  5. For a 6 oz to 12 oz glass of water, set on Function #1 and run for 2 minutes
  6. For a gallon jug of water, set on Function #5 and run for 20 minutes
  7. Then use the ozonated water to disinfect toys

Adding ozone to a regular cleaning routine will destroy viruses, bacteria, and virtually all other forms of microbes without leaving a chemical residue behind.

Learn more about the Aqua-6 by clicking here.

For more guidelines on Aqua-6 program functions, check out the Aqua-6 Water Application graphic here.

Have the Aqua-6 but ready for an upgrade? Check out the Aqua-8.

If you have additional questions, give our office a call at 502-499-4977.

Note: Be sure to only use your ozone generator in an unoccupied area. Our units produce high amounts of ozone. It is not safe to run the unit in an occupied area for more than 1 minutes. Be sure to remove any valuable items, pets and/or plants before you use the ozone generator. Do not breathe in ozone directly.

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