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Washing and disinfecting toys and surfaces helps reduce the spread
of germs, especially in child care settings or other areas where many children
Have a bin for dirty toys that is out of your child's reach. When a
toy becomes dirty, such as after a child has played with it and put it in his
or her mouth, put it in the bin. If you can't wash the toys right away, set
them aside to wash later.
Surfaces that are likely to collect germs include diaper-changing
areas, potty chairs, crib rails, or areas where food is prepared or eaten.
Scrubbing with soap and water effectively removes germs from
surfaces. This method is recommended for surfaces where chemical disinfectants
are not appropriate, such as some furniture.
When possible, toys and surfaces should also be disinfected.
Dishwashers are a convenient and effective way to disinfect dishes and
utensils. Chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach are used to
disinfect surfaces and objects. You can find a wide variety of brand-name
products with varying ingredients. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's
directions exactly as printed on the label.
You can make your own disinfectant with bleach and water, although
it quickly loses its strength. It should be made fresh daily. Use the following
ratios of bleach to water, depending on the strength needed.
Do not mix bleach with other liquids or cleaners because the
mixture can produce a toxic gas. Bleach should be mixed only with fresh tap
water. Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.
January 22, 2013
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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