Spotting Mold In Children’s Toys

Those plastic toys children put in their mouths can sometimes collect mold. There are several videos on YouTube showing footage of how potentially harmful mold can infest and lurk inside children’s rubber toys without anyone realizing it’s there.

How does mold infiltrate a child’s toy?

Mold proliferates in a child’s toy just the same way it does anywhere else—it needs moisture to thrive. Toys that are made for use in water attract mold, as do toys that are kept in the basement or left in a damp area outside. Mold can even form when toys improperly are cleaned, drained or dried out.

What can you do to prevent and clean mold from your child’s toys?

“The only way to prevent mold inside plastic toys is to make sure they are cleaned and thoroughly dried,” says Carolyn Forte, the Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Clean washable plastic toys in hot sudsy water, or in the dishwasher. Then, disinfect them with a solution of 1/2 cup Clorox bleach per gallon of water. Soak them for five minutes, rinse and air dry.

How often should you clean your child’s toys?

It depends on how often they’re used. If daily, clean them at least once a week, and don’t let them sit in water or leave them with water still trapped inside.

Mold in toys is usually not something to be too alarmed about unless your child has an allergy or immune disorder.

What are symptoms of mold exposure In children?

If your child is exposed to or ingests the mold in, or on, their toys, it can quickly weaken immune systems and lead to respiratory problems and allergies.

Like with adults, symptoms of a mold allergy often manifest in respiratory problems which include a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and throat irritation. If left untreated, more severe illnesses such as asthma and lung infections can occur.

Sometimes, even the deepest clean can’t remove all of the mold. If that is the case, it’s better to invest in new toys than having your child become sick from playing with dirty ones.

If you have any questions about mold and its effects on children, contact a mold remediation specialist near you.