Every little child loves stuffed animals. They are soft, cuddly and irresistibly cute, and sometimes even adults can’t resist them! However, stuffed animals are potential breeding grounds for dust mites, and this can translate into bad news for your child’s health.
Why Dust Mites Are Bad For Your Child
Dust mites don’t do anything on their own but it is their feces that cause a lot of harm to the health. From asthma to allergic reactions, dust mite waste can some of the causes for this number of unpleasant side effects. Despite that fact, most people don’t realize that any surface which has the dead skin cells dust mites like to feed on are subject to their presence, and that’s pretty much everywhere, including stuffed animals.
That’s why it’s important to clean your child’s stuffed animals frequently and destroy as many dust mites (and consequently their waste) as you can. If your child has severe asthma, it may be best to not keep stuffed animals in your child’s bedroom and limit your child’s interaction with stuffed animals as much as possible (of course, this won’t always be possible since kids just love stuffed animals!).
How To Clean Your Child’s Stuffed Animals
Now, here are some ways you can use to keep your child’s stuffed toys as clean as possible and control the population of dust mite within minute amounts:
1) If the stuffed animal is washable, throw it in the washing machine and wash it with hot water weekly. This will help kill the mites on and inside the stuffed animal effectively.
Afterwards, you can put the toy in the dryer on a high heat setting to further clean up whatever is left of the dust mites. If you do not have a dryer, you can definitely put it out to dry in a Sunny Day.
2) If the stuffed animal is not washable, or you find that the stuffed animal does not survive the hot water wash well enough (some of the fur or hair will come detached), you can put the stuffed animal inside a zip-lock bag (plastic wrap works too) and place it in the freezer overnight. If overnight is not an option, put the toy in the freezer in the morning and take it out in the evening. After taking it out of the freezer, you can
either put it in the dryer on high heat or vacuum it to remove the dust mites that were frozen to death.
3) Every few days, make it a point to vacuum your kid’s stuffed animals to remove as many mites as you can. This will clean up the toys temporarily before the thorough cleanup steps mentioned above.
Now that you know how important it is to keep your child’s stuffed animals clean, play an active part and perform the steps above as directed. Asthma and allergies can be prevented, and it’s not difficult to do.