New Study Finds Soft Toys Pose Health Risk For Children

Published: Apr. 30, 2015 at 11:48 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2015 at 3:39 PM CDT
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Wichita Falls, TX -

Parents, listen up. A new study found children soft toys carrying germs could be putting your little ones at risk of infection and could land them in the hospital.

Scientist at the Vanderbilt University in Tennessee sought to find out the dangers of bacteria on soft toys and if they contribute to surgical site infections.

During the study, scientists swabbed a large amount of soft toys, like teddy bears brought into hospitals prior to surgery and found each one swabbed showed some form of bacteria growth. Bacteria doctors said could be furthering putting your child or other children at risk of infections.

Dr. Anil Gajare, a Pediatrician at Community Healthcare Center in Wichita Falls said best practices to protect your little ones from infections is to frequently wash soft toys.

"The CDC has recommended it, even in clinic settings, even in hospital settings they have play areas. So the usual recommendation is to wipe them by the end of the clinic day, all of your hard toys," said Dr. Gajare. "Keep soft toys out of clinics because these are the ones that children like to lick, bite and that can spread it to other kids."

He said parents should place soft toys in bleach for a half an hour before washing them. Dr. Gajare said doing that will help cut down on the spread of bacteria and decrease chances of your child receiving an infection.

Another health concern, Dr. Gajare said people forget is very important is to wash your hands. He said, while it may seem like common sense, washing your hands thoroughly can "really save lives."

Recently, hospitals have put policies in place prohibiting patients from bringing items as teddy bears to prevent the spread of bacteria and causing infections.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6