I am a pediatrician, and this is how your child could be killed by his fluff

If you are a parent, you will know how important a soft toy is to your child.

They can be calming and even calming for children, but experts warn their beloved bear or rabbit could pose a serious threat.


Many children have a weathered teddy bear. But an expert says they should be cleaned regularly.Credit: Corbis – Getty

Steve Turner, a consultant pediatrician specializing in allergies at the University of Dundee, said failure to properly clean toys can lead to life-threatening asthma attacks and other serious allergies.

He also warned that your child living with a soft toy is a health risk.

He pointed out previous researchers from ResearchOtago University in New Zealand

Scientists found that nearly half of all lint tested contained harmful levels (HDM) of house dust mites, which can cause hay fever or eczema.

Of particular concern is that they can be held close to the airways during sleep, which increases the risk of asthma from HDM.

Dr Turner told Central Recorder that the best way to reduce risk is to make sure lint is cleaned properly and regularly.

He said: “The advice for parents is to either tumble dry for an hour or freeze the plush overnight and then wash it cold to remove any allergens.”

Researchers at Otago Uni tested 36 soft toys to compare different cleaning methods.

They found that freezing them for 16 hours at -15 ° C resulted in a 95% reduction in HDM, hot tumble drying for an hour reduced mites by 89% and soaking in eucalyptus oil emulsion. and liquid detergent for one hour, followed by rinsing and drying also resulted in a 95% reduction in HDM.

“Washing and soaking with eucalyptus oil and a naturally antibacterial detergent is very effective not only in reducing live mites, but also in reducing dust mite allergens, compared to freezing and tumble drying Explains the associate professor of study author Dr. Rob Siebers.

“Of the 12 toys studied, 10 showed no living mites after being washed with eucalyptus oil and liquid detergent.”

Dr Siebers said all three methods are more effective than just washing toys because the water needs to be above 55 ° C to kill HDMs, which are usually too hot and damage toys.

Central Recorder has also been warned by an expert that your home cannot be free from dust and mites.


Eluned Hughes is Head of Health Advice for Asthma UK. She also works with the British Lung Foundation.

“About two in five children with asthma (44%) tell us that dust triggers their illness, which causes them to experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing or runny nose.

“If your child has a soft toy that they sleep in, you can reduce the risk of dust triggering their asthma by washing them regularly at 60 degrees to kill dust mites, as well as their bedding and blankets. “

She added that lint that cannot be washed at 60 degrees can be put in the freezer for at least 12 hours before being washed at the recommended temperature.

Eluned explained, “No one can ever be completely free from dust and mites at home, at work or at school.

It is possible to reduce the risk of your child developing asthma symptoms by ensuring that they take their prescribed preventative medications as directed and by using an asthma action plan.

“If your child has symptoms three or more times a week, it’s time to make an appointment with their GP or asthma nurse to discuss the best ways to manage asthma triggers. “

I am a pediatrician, and this is how your child could be killed by his fluff

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