Disinfecting stuffed animals

Let me preface this by stating that I'm a germ-a-phobe....Not clinically but I certainly wash things a lot...

A coworker of mine gave me a stuffed animal for my shower, 9 months ago. I work in a hospital lab and this particular co-worker doesn't have much regard for universal precautions and will touch just about anything and everything without gloves. She also bought this animal in the hospital gift shop, so who knows what was on her hands or what she did with it once she paid for it.

So anyway, this animal has been sitting on a shelf with other stuffed animals since then. At the time I wasn't such a germ freak, this is new since Avery arrived, so I thought nothing of sticking it on a shelf with all the other animals.

Now that Avery is 9 months old she seems to want these animals and I can't get myself to let her play with them. Now, logically and according to the internet the "bugs" would be dead. I'm talking about HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis C, MRSA etc etc. I mean it's been months and I've read MRSA lives the longest at about 90 days.

So...would you just let your baby play with these things or would you run them through the wash and dryer to disinfect? If you would wash...can you wash the ones iwth little wind-up things that play music or will that ruin them? There are one or two of those up there, but most are regular stuffed animals.
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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i'm not a germaphobe, but i do know that stuffed animals can be grungy hot zones of festering microbe universes.

if it's simply stuffed with fleece and the shape doesn't look like it will be compromised, stick it in the machine and wash it on gentle-cold.

if it has a music box inside, i'd take a wash cloth with soap and water and wipe the surface of it, and then wipe the soap away with a clean cloth.

with either way, i put them on the deck to get good old direct sunlight to dry them and kill any lingering germs.

you could also handwash them. i do this to our daughter's favorite white bunny, but she handles that thing a lot, which is why the water turns ... well ... nevermind.

to be honest, unless the stuffed animals you have have been handled a lot (it doesn't sound like that's the case), i would forgo the machine and simply wipe them off with a damp cloth, no detergent, and let them get direct sunlight.
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I am not a germphobe and I would let my child play with the animals.
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  1. Place the stuffed toy into a plastic bag and tie it, try to keep as much air out of it as possible.





  2. Dust mites hide in stuffed toys
    Place the plasitc bag with the toy in it, into a freezer overnight, or for at least 3-5 hours if your little one cannot sleep without their little pal.

    Germs thrive in warm conditions, this deep freeze will not only kill the germs, but it will also kill the dust mites that can trigger allergies or an asthma attack.


  3. Repeat this process at least once a week to keep your childs stuffed toys free from germs and allergens.

Read more: How to Disinfect Stuffed Toys | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4994677_disi...#ixzz13mPYpanx
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I'd let her play with it. Any pathologic hospital germs are long dead. Modern humans are too clean...disinfecting and bleaching everything...and kids don't get exposed to the germs necessary to build strong immune systems, which is why many experts are postulating our incidences of allergies and asthma and illness have risen in children. Being exposed to germs is good for kids. It makes them stronger.
i'm with RCW and geeky. chances are your little one has already run into far worse germs just cruising around on the carpet (unless you steam clean them everyday, multiple times a day).
I have to be a germ-a-phobe BUT when DS has to have a major overnight stay at the hospital, we get him a new stuffed animal to play with from the gift shop.

I would not worry about it.



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I have to be a germ-a-phobe BUT when DS has to have a major overnight stay at the hospital, we get him a new stuffed animal to play with from the gift shop.

I would not worry about it.
Originally Posted by deezee02

With a child with immune issues, it's probably better to forego stuffed toys altogether and just stick with washable toys. New ones are a good idea, and then just toss them after you're done with them.
I have to be a germ-a-phobe BUT when DS has to have a major overnight stay at the hospital, we get him a new stuffed animal to play with from the gift shop.

I would not worry about it.
Originally Posted by deezee02

With a child with immune issues, it's probably better to forego stuffed toys altogether and just stick with washable toys. New ones are a good idea, and then just toss them after you're done with them.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
That would be great if I did not have the child who threw every toy. Stuffed toys do not cause injuries.



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