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Infection risks for children: Viruses on plastic toys can remain for hours

Infection risks for children: Viruses on plastic toys can remain for hours


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Research: Viruses can survive on plastic toys for hours
To protect against infectious diseases, it is usually recommended to stay away from infected people. But that alone is not enough. Certain viruses can survive on plastic toys for hours. For children, toys can become a health risk.

Health risks from children's toys
Even if playing is so beautiful, experts always warn of certain health risks from children's toys. For example, scientists at the Goethe University in Frankfurt reported on a health risk from environmental hormones in baby teethers last year. Allergy-causing or even carcinogenic substances are sometimes found in toys. But not only ingredients can become a health risk, but also the handling of the toy. If this is made of plastic, viruses can be found on it, which can lead to infection even after a long time.

Viruses survive for hours on plastic toys
As US researchers have now discovered, viruses with a virus envelope, such as the flu virus, can survive for hours on plastic toys. This toy thus becomes an underestimated risk of infection for children. This is shown by a study by scientists from "Georgia State University" in Atlanta, which was published in the specialist magazine "Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal". According to the authors, infectious virions were sometimes found in a toy after a day. The experts therefore urge increased precautions when handling toys.

Children are particularly susceptible to infections
For example, during the flu season, if people are careful not to distribute viruses, only a few people worry that they could also spread pathogens via inanimate objects. However, study author Richard L. Bearden II warned in a message from the university: "Children are susceptible to infectious diseases because they put their hands and foreign bodies in their mouths and their immune systems are not yet fully developed." To demonstrate the survival of the pathogens used the research team found a bacteriophage, a virus that affects bacteria.

Humidity plays a big role
It turned out that the relative humidity obviously plays a huge role. According to this, the scientists were still able to detect infectious virions in 40 percent after ten hours, but only one millionth of the original amount. But at 60 percent humidity, a full percent of the viruses were active even after a full day. "The research team would probably still have found infectious virions even after more than 24 hours," said Bearden II. The causative agents of numerous infectious diseases work in a similar way and are therefore likely to remain infectious on plastic toys for as long. The researchers cite influenza (flu) and coroanaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) as examples of such viruses.

Ban toys from waiting rooms
It has long been known that toys can become a risk of infection, but what is new is the knowledge of how long the sometimes extremely dangerous viruses on the objects can survive. "I think parents, daycare centers, doctor's surgeries and other places where children share toys should implement some decontamination strategy so that the toys are not a reservoir for diseases," said Bearden II. According to the expert, it would make sense to remove toys from waiting rooms to remove. Decontamination should also include other shared surfaces such as door handles or elevator buttons. (ad)

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Video: Данила Поперечный: СПЕШЛ фо КИДС. Stand-up, 2020. eng subs (May 2022).


Comments:

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