Bath toys are extremely popular among babies, toddlers, and young children.
There are complicated toys to choose from. However, the rubber duck is a beloved classic for a reason. This simple toy can provide your child with hours of imaginative play.
But is it safe to use rubber ducks and similar toys? Do you need to worry about bacteria? Is it possible to develop fungal infections from bath toys?
The Bad News
Research shows that fungi and bacteria can easily grow on this kind of toy.
Swiss scientists observed bath toys over 11 weeks. So what did they find?
Around 60% of the toys showed some kind of fungal growth. 80% contained bacteria that could make someone ill. If the water was contaminated, all the toys showed the same results.
Hence, your child can definitely catch bacterial or fungal infections from bath toys.
Furthermore, some of the parasites were dangerous. For example, the researchers found the Legionella bacteria on these toys.
Why Does This Happen?
So where do the parasites come from?
Most toys are made from low-quality plastic. Hence, the plastic releases carbon compounds. This creates a colony for bacteria and for fungi.
During play, these toys fill up with water. The water can stay in them for a long time. If your child is very young, their bathwater may also contain urine.
All of this also contributes to the development of these infections.
So What Should You Do?
Is it necessary to get rid of rubber ducks and other bath toys?
You may feel that your child is safer that way. But it might be too extreme a solution. Your best bet is to buy higher-quality toys.