That rubber duckie in your bath tub might look innocent enough, but it secretly harbours potentially harmful levels of toxic bacteria and mould.
Swiss and American researchers have revealed in a new study that "potentially pathogenic bacteria" has been found lurking in your child’s favourite bath toys.
And it can make your kids very sick.
According to the researchers, “chunks of biofilm” from the interior cavity of bath toys “may result in eye, ear, wound or even gastro-intestinal tract infections”, especially when children squeeze the water into their faces.
The solution? Short of closing the hole in each toy, there are a few ways to keep the bacteria at bay.
- Rinse all of your child’s toys well and squeeze all of the water out after they’ve finished playing with them. Dry them with a towel and then place them with the holes facing outwards, preferably near a window or dry spot.
- Fill your sink with hot soapy water (dishwashing detergent or shampoo works well) then squeeze out the air and fill each toy with the clean water. Repeat a few times until the water runs clean, then leave them to completely drain a cool, airy spot.
- Be vigilant. Keep an eye on the toys and replace them regularly, especially if they release black water or they start to smell.