Dear Director:I’m trying to avoid sounding like a paranoid germaphobe but I’m concerned that my 1 year old son’s stroller isn’t getting clean enough with the occasional wipe down. It’s just that I’m a new single mom and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Please tell me I’m being overly cautious.
My years in child care have seen parents at all ends of the concern spectrum. In areas of hygiene, especially when it comes to strollers, I have found that it’s always prudent to be proactive and err on the side of caution. Not to increase your panic but child strollers do have the potential to be breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and fungi, all of which can be harmful to a baby. In addition to germs, your child’s stroller may have old food, dirt and grime on the frame and cushion. Let me give you some helpful tips on the best way to clean a stroller:
1. Take the stroller outside and remove all detachable parts such as cup holders and snack trays. If the fabric is removable, take it off and set it aside.
2. Use a damp cloth followed by a disinfecting wipe to thoroughly wipe down the stroller frame, moving parts, and handles. Use a toothbrush to reach small crevices where food and dirt may have collected.
3. Bring the cup holders and snack trays in the house and soak them in a sink full of hot, soapy water for 15 minutes.
4. Clean all fabric seats, cushions and other fabric accessories according to manufacturer instructions. If they are washable, wash fabrics in a gentle cycle using non-chlorine bleach. If not washable, use a damp cloth and let air dry.
5. Reassemble indoors to prevent dirt from collecting.
Repeat the cleaning process as often as you are able. Similar cleaning techniques apply to cleaning toys using diluted bleach or antibacterial soap but the frequency of cleaning should be greatly increased due to the fact that toys often end up directly in children’s mouths.
Follow these instructions and you will rest easier knowing that you are more prepared to fight the germ war.
“Ask The Director “ is written by Wanda Geer in collaboration with Anita Handy and Nida Wright. Director’s at Tartt’s Day Care Centers Inc. their combined childcare experience totals 40 years.