Have you checked your children’s toys for mold recently? Toys made from rubber, including teething rings and sippy cups, can easily trap moisture which could lead to mold growth.
If you have witnessed black, watery gunk oozing out of your kids’ bath toys upon squeezing, it is likely black mold.
Mold is certainly gross, but what danger does it pose to kids?
What leads to the growth of mold?
Anything that has the ability to trap moisture could be a potential site for the growth of mold. Beyond rubber toys, this also includes your nasal aspirators and humidifiers.
Mold growth inside kids’ toys and sippy cups specifically have been making headlines too often. Tomme Tipee were found guilty of mold growing inside their sippy cups after a few parents posted images of black mold growing under the lid. GoGo Squeeze Applesauce was also discovered with “moldsauce” in some of its products.
Is mold dangerous?
When it comes to children’s toys, there is luckily only a limited exposure to mold. If your children ingest some of the mold from toys, their body is going to dispose of it through the natural digestive process. It’s quite alike accidentally giving your kids moldy bread—not life-threatening but certainly undesirable.
If your kids have some immunity problems or mold allergy, ingesting mold could be more dangerous. Mold allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, coughing and skin rashes.
Exposure to mold through toys is different than exposure to an overall moldy indoor ambience. Healthy individuals could face upper respiratory tract symptoms, asthma, and wheezing if they are continuously exposed to a moldy indoor environment.
Overall, it’s better to play it safe by throwing out any toy that looks to be growing mold.
How to check for mold
Look for the products that have holes in them like bath toys, sippy cups, teethers etc. Fill them with water, shake, and then squeeze the water out. If there is some dark substance in with the water, it is probably mold.
For toys that are not easy to clean, try getting them replaced every few months. Also, follow the instructions provided with your bath toys and sippy cups to learn the right way to clean them.
To avoid mold from growing inside bath toys at all, use some hot glue to seal the holes. You can also try periodic bleaching (add 3/4 of a cup of distilled vinegar to four liters of water and soak all the larger toys in the mixture overnight) and boiling. And lastly, don’t forget to air dry the wet products.