Baby Hints & Tips

Mum Warns: Child Almost Lost Sight from Mouldy Bath Toys

mouldy bath toys

An American mother has turned to social media urging others to not fall victim to the same fate as her little boy after a terrifying ordeal from what appeared to be a harmless bath toy…

As mums we routinely scoop up the bath toys and leave them wet after bath time. In fact, you’ve probably even realised that some of them trap a little bit of water inside…. no biggie right!? But have you ever wondered just how toxic this retained water could be? It turns out mouldy bath toys can be devastating! 

American mum, Eden Strong issued a heartbreaking plea via her facebook account, sharing the scary experience she and her two-year-old son, Baylor, endured after he squirted himself in the eye with retained water from one of his bath toys. 

More than just an irritation 

When Baylor’s eye first appeared red and irritated after squirting himself that night, he was treated for conjunctivitis. It was however later that night that mum Eden realised something far more sinister was happening when she found him in his crib with excessive eye and facial swelling and redness progressing down his cheek. 

“His eye was so swollen that the white part was bulging out from between his eyelid and his iris was being obscured,” she writes. “He felt hot to the touch and a temperature check showed that he had a raging fever.”

Strong acted quickly taking Baylor to the hospital emergency room where he was immediately started on an antibiotic drip and given a CT scan to check his retina. 

“He had severe cellulitis that eventually spread down his face and to both eyes,” Strong explained.  

“The next week was pretty scary. They warned me that he may lose vision in the worse eye, but in the end, thank the Lord his eyes healed.”

mouldy bath toys

Baylor & Eden Strong in hospital via Strong’s Facebook Post.

Mum urges throw out the toys! 

Today, Baylor is fine and has no long term impacts from his bath-based ordeal. Mum Eden however is now on a one woman quest to prevent any other children having the same terrifying experience. Her post closes with the following advice: 

“But tub toys? THROW THEM OUT. You cannot clean them, you just can’t. I don’t have any moldy tub toy pictures to show here, because there was never any visible mold to take a picture of. You can’t see bacteria and I’ve known that since 6th grade science class but I thought I was better than dirty tub toys. I was wrong.

So those tub toys? Just throw them out.

*** Please share and prevent another baby from going through what I accidentally put mine through.***” 

2018 Study Confirms Mums Claims 

A 2018 study investigating bath toys has previously confirmed that they can contain toxic mould due to drainage issues. Mouldy bath toys is definitely an issue. 

A team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and the University of Illinois collected bath toys from different Swiss homes. They also purchased rubber ducks to be studied in adults-only households.

Researchers found that lying around in humid, warm and wet bathrooms creates bacteria and fungi in plastic toys that squirt water.

Mould in Toys during the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and the University of Illinois.

How to clean bath toys? 

If you’re not keen on throwing them out bath toys can be cleaned. The queen of clean Martha Stewart suggests: 

“A monthly wash will help keep bacteria and mildew at bay. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar per gallon of warm water in a bucket. Soak the toys in the solution for about 10 minutes, then rub them gently with a sponge. To clean the inside of squeeze toys, suck up the solution, shake, and squeeze out. Let air-dry.” 


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