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Pediatricians: Frequent viral contamination on children's toys

Pediatricians: Frequent viral contamination on children's toys



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Viruses can survive on children's toys for a relatively long time
When people around us are sick, we usually keep a certain distance so as not to risk transmitting the infection. Many parents also make sure that their children do not come into contact with sick friends. But the pathogens can also lurk on surfaces. For example, children's toys in daycare centers are a possible source of infection. "Some viruses can remain contagious on toys for up to 24 hours," reports the professional association of children and adolescents (BVKJ) in a current press release.

The BVKJ warns of the risk of infection from children's toys, citing a study by researchers from Georgia State University. In daycare centers or doctor's surgeries, where many children play with it or sneeze and cough near it, this can be contaminated with pathogens. According to the results of the American researchers, viruses on a plastic toy are infectious for up to 24 hours. The risk of infection should therefore not be underestimated.

The viruses remain infectious for 24 hours
In their study, the US researchers examined how infectious viral particles survive on a plastic squeaky frog. The air humidity played a crucial role here. "Up to 24 hours after the toy was contaminated at 60% relative humidity and up to 10 hours at 40% relative humidity", infectious particles were detectable, reports the BVKJ from the study results. These were published in the specialist magazine "Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal".

Infections about objects are neglected
The study showed that especially enveloped viruses such as influenza and corona viruses remain contagious on toys for a long time, according to the BVKJ. "People don't really think that they can get infected through objects," study author Richard Bearden II is quoted by the BVKJ. Most would rather assume that they are infected with other people, because children touch and put a lot in their mouths and because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, they are particularly at risk from infection through objects. After 24 hours and 60 percent relative humidity, only one percent of the original virus load on the toy remains infectious, "but even if only a few viruses remain, children can still become infected," warns the BVKJ.

Vehicle for outbreaks
Experts believe that toys can be an important factor in the spread of viral diseases in children. In previous studies, an increased viral contamination of toys had already been detected, which was used by several children in day-care centers, doctor's offices or apartments. Toys in waiting areas of medical facilities in particular can serve as vehicles for outbreaks of viral diseases, warns the BVKJ. (fp)

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