health hazard in children’s stuffed toys.

hey Mommy’s out there! Are you washing your children’s stuffed animals/toys at least once a month? If you not, then you should be (according to the National Allergy Association)! Apparently, teddy bears (and what not) are an overlooked area of germs and dust mite infestation; they need to be cleaned monthly (in hot water) in order to get the gunk out.

Dust mites (tiny arachnids) eat dead flakes of human skin and they leave droppings, which collect over the years inside the toy’s stuffing (carpet, bedding & furniture). The droppings are a leading allergen responsible for eczema and other allergic reactions that can contribute to major health issues like asthma.

What are your options? I’ve heard that by putting stuffed animals into a black garbage bag and sticking it out in the sun for a day will kill germs (think: easy oven bake). Disclaimer: Beware that dust mites are attracted to kapok (the seed of which the stuffing is usually made) and if it gets wet and doesn’t dry quickly enough it will grow mold.

I know that many of you may have tried to wash stuffed toys in the past with really bad/sad results but I just learned that if you put it securely in a cotton bag, put it in the washer under the gentle cycle, then throw it in the dryer under the low setting, your child’s prized possession should be safe (and clean)!

I found this site that sells laundry bags for such a purpose…

good luck.

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