Disinfecting Toys

Q: “How should I disinfect my child’s toys?”

A: You can wash hard toys in the sink with soap and water, or run them through the dishwasher to disinfect them.

For toys that cannot go in the dishwasher, use a solution of 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 3 tablespoons of alcohol in a spray bottle to wipe, cleanse and disinfect.

Stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine. Use the hot water setting if your child has asthma to rid the toy of dust mites.

Don’t worry too much about living in a germ-free home, however. Studies have shown that children who grow up on farms and other less-than-sterile environments are less likely to have allergies and asthma than other children. It appears that a body’s developing immune system benefits from exposure to the world—germs and all.

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