Kids are the ultimate explorers, but their methods of investigation typically involve touching and tasting. While germs are always a concern for parents, trying to avoid illness and infection is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions should be set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves. These toys should be cleaned with water and detergent, rinsed, sanitized with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinsed again, and left to air-dry.
- Be especially mindful of items more likely to be placed in a child’s mouth, like play food, dishes, and utensils.
- Machine washable cloth toys should be used by one individual at a time or should not be used at all. These toys should be laundered before being used by another child.
- Set aside toys that need to be cleaned. Place in a dish pan with soapy water or put in a separate container marked for “soiled toys.” Keep dish pan and water out of reach from children to prevent risk of injury or drowning. Washing with soapy water is the ideal method for cleaning. Try to have enough toys so that the toys can be rotated through cleanings.
- Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.
- Do not share toys with other groups of infants or toddlers, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved from one group to another.