Chronicles of Mom Life
Kid's Products You Should Replace Due to Mold
There are so many products that can develop toxic mold overtime without proper cleaning.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they need to clean or replace certain products and they can have health risks.
Kids products are not an exception to this rule.
Mold spores can hide in many products for young children and cause health problems.
So many children’s products grow different types of mold and parents don’t realize it until it’s too late.
Mold can hide in many dark and damp areas and can cause allergic reactions and compromise immune systems.
The best way to fix the mold problem is to use a bleach solution, but this is not always the best choice for kid's products.
These are a list of kid’s products that should be replaced regularly due to toxic substances.
What can cause mold?
Moisture and dark areas are a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Moisture can be caused from water, saliva, and high humidity levels.
If the objects are not drained or properly dried out, mold will start to form because of the excessive moisture.
Water damage can occur if there is poor indoor air quality. This commonly occurs in ceiling tiles, the washing machine, building materials, porous materials, and even the kitchen sponge
According to WebMD, "Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include Moisture level (humidity) at or over 70%, Adequate food source (such as drywall), Oxygen, and Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F."1
What are some ways to try to prevent mold?
You do not want to have to replace all your products constantly if you are able to clean them properly.
If you have a moisture problem in your home, the good news is you can try to fix the issue by having open windows, running air conditioners, and you could use exhaust fans.
This may not be a complete fix, but it can help fix indoor humidity and can help if anyone in your family has a mold allergy or respiratory problems.
Another way to prevent mold is to regularly change water filters and air filters.
You will want to regularly sanitize your children's products to keep them bacteria free.
How easy is it to spot mold?
While most people expect mold to be easily seen, there are many hard surfaces and crevasses where mold likes to hide.
If there is a spot that moisture can enter, that means mold can form there too.
Indoor mold growth can hide in any damp spot and the type of fungus can vary by the location.
Many people don't recognize mold until they begin to show asthma symptoms, allergy symptoms, or other health issues.
What are some products you should replace?
Pacifiers are one of the most common kids’ products that unfortunately many people don’t replace as often as they should.
They are a great product because they have been found to reduce the risk of SIDS and will help soothe an upset baby.
My children both used pacifiers as babies and they were so helpful.
The problem is babies have pacifiers in their mouths for extended periods of time, so bacteria can grow quickly in the hidden areas of them.
If pacifiers are stuffed into toys or dropped under the crib, children can find them and continue to use them even though they need to be sanitized or replaced.
The nipples have very small holes to allow air flow in them, but you cannot physically scrub inside them.
Pacifiers should be boiled as soon as they are purchased, washed regularly with antibacterial soap and water, and boiled again at least every few days to every week.
The pacifier companies suggest replacing pacifiers every 3 months, which should be followed.
If you are looking for ways to wean your child from their pacifier, check out my post 7 Ways to Wean Off the Pacifier.
2. Bath Toys
Bath toys can be so much fun for kids during bath time.
We have a net filled with toys and other large bath toys for our children.
Toys that can be filled with water or are too thin to clean inside properly are bath toys that should be regular replaced. These can include the rubber duckie, squeak toys, and more.
The easiest toys to clean are stackable cups with holes, foam letters, and large electronic toys that don’t retain water.
We still have all different types of toys for the bath, but we make sure to inspect toys and replace them when they start to change color.
If you are interested in bath products for your children, check out our post Best Bath Time Essentials for Baby and Kids.
3. Reusable Plastic Straws
The point of reusable straws is so you are not replacing them constantly, but unfortunately it depends on the style of straw.
The wide silicone straws and the wide metal straws that come with a straw cleaner are much easier to keep clean. You should clean the straws out immediately after use to keep them clean.
Some straws you should regularly replace are crazy straws and very narrow straws because straw cleaners cannot get through them.
If your children use straws for anything other than water, you may need to replace them more frequently.
4. Bottle Nipples
Bottle nipples and sippy cups should be cleaned and boiled regularly because of the formula and/or breastmilk that sits in them.
I would clean bottle nipples with antibacterial soap and water after every use and do a big boil for the whole week on the weekend. This boil would include all parts of the bottles and my pumping equipment.
There are many different nipple sizes for bottles so once you change sizes, it’s smart to throw away the old nipples and replace them with the new size.
When your child is done using bottles, there is no issue reusing your bottles and equipment for your next child or donating them. You should not include any nipples with your bottles though since those should always be purchased new.
5. Kid’s Plastic Spoons
Many years ago, I went to give my daughter a plastic baby spoon and noticed a weird color on the handle.
I held the spoon under a light and pulled the handle apart as much as it would go without breaking it.
Sadly, the spoon was developing mold in the handle where the handle was attached to the spoon.
I immediately threw away all spoons of that material away and decided to go with spoons and forks that are one solid piece.
Since children put the spoons in their mouths and they are under water constantly, it’s always possible mold can form in hidden places.
Even though I thoroughly cleaned my daughter’s spoons after every use, the mold still formed in a small space I wasn’t aware of.
I’m sure everyone has heard of the horror stories with the Teething Giraffe. After these stories, we decided against purchasing them.
While there is no problem buying these types of teething toys for your children, you should also be aware of the bacteria that can hide inside if not properly cleaned or replaced.
There are many solid teething toys you can buy that can also be boiled and washed with soap and water.
You can also look into teething toys that can be put in the freezer to help with pain.
7. Water Bottles
There are so many styles of water bottles, but the most likely to grow mold are the kids water bottles with straws.
The most convenient water bottles our kids own have a mouthpiece that bends up and down to use and a locking mechanism to keep the bottle from leaking in their bags.
The problem is the mouthpiece is long and narrow and hard to clean.
I own a narrow straw cleaner that will fit into these mouth pieces with soap, but unfortunately, I’ve still had to throw them away. I just cannot completely prevent visible mold from forming in these mouth pieces no matter how much I scrub them.
After I found mold inside one of the mouth pieces of a water bottle, my husband used his flashlight to look inside another water bottle mouthpiece we have. This water bottle was only 2 months old and had mold growing on the inside of the mouthpiece already even though we thoroughly clean it after every use.
To express the lifetime of these bottle, I will only use them for water. Milk and juice will be harder to clean out of these mouth pieces.
I like to buy the bottles in sets and replace them when I see any discoloration or issues.
My general rule of thumb is to replace our toothbrushes every 3 months unless we are sick, then they are replaced more often. I know some people who replace them once a month.
Whatever time frame you go with, you should be replacing them regularly.
I have had people tell me they do not change their toothbrushes until the bristles start to break, but this could be too long.
Your toothbrush is used to brush the tartar and plaque off your teeth so bacteria can be living in your toothbrush.
If you are looking for a great way to keep track of your toothbrushes, go with the quarter rule. Replace your toothbrush the first day of the new quarter. This would be January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.
We still replace ours more often than this, but we always get new toothbrushes on these dates no matter what.
If you are looking for ways to get your child to have healthy oral hygiene, check out our article Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth.
It is so important to keep your children’s products free from bacteria and different type of mold.
The health effects of black mold exposure are not worth it when you can find the issue and replace products.
I hate the idea of being wasteful, but I would much rather keep my children healthy by giving them clean and sanitized products.
What other kids’ products do you replace regularly?
Are there any products I missed?
Let me knows in the comments below.