When it comes to kids – germs are everywhere. On their toys, on their clothes and even on their hands and feet. Some of these germs are completely innocuous, but many of them carry harmful agents that could cause sickness and no parent likes to see their child sick. Yet, the younger the child, the more important it is to thoroughly disinfect their toys, because most of those toys will be going in their mouth – sometimes directly from a very dirty floor. Moreover, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to disinfect children’s toys. Also, each type of toy must be cleaned a very different way depending on what it’s made out of. Here is the proper way to disinfect your kid’s toys.

First, soft toys must be thrown into the washing machine. However, you might want to check the toy’s label first to make sure you aren’t damaging the toy. There could be features on the toy, like plastic eyes on a stuffed bear, that could be damaged in the washing machine. You should also check the label before you put the toy in the dryer, because you can seriously risk disfiguring the toy. Some stuffed toys made out of fabric must be hand washed and drip-dried.

If the toy in question is made out of a hard plastic, use warm, lightly soapy water and a toothbrush to scrub it down and then get into the cracks where most of the germs are hiding. Once that toy is in your child’s hands or mouth, those germs will definitely be transferred over. If you need to do a little more disinfecting – perhaps the toy hasn’t been cleaned in a while and has seen a lot of floor action – you can use a small amount of bleach, but make sure to wash off most of the bleach and leave it to dry for a long time before you give the toy back to your child.

Next, electronic toys are a little harder to clean. You can’t throw them into the washing machine, even though they might have a soft exterior, and you can’t use a lot of water and cleaning solution, because you can damage the internal hardware. Yet, you can clean your child’s electronic toy much the same way you might clean your own electronics. You can use a high-powered duster and then put a little bit of water and soap onto a rag and then do a light scrub. You definitely want to make sure if you do use water that it isn’t dripping, because that can spell the end of a perfectly good toy.

Lastly, you could go to www.Toybuzz.org and search for toys that might be a little easier to clean, but no matter at some point you are going to have to disinfect your child’s toys. They will be greasy, dirty and have who-knows-what from the street on them, but you are going to need to do your best. Remember, your child’s health and safety is your priority.

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When the stress and strain of daily life become frustratingly overwhelming, the best thing you can do is take time to relax and unwind. A fun girls’ day at the spa is the perfect solution for injecting a little fresh activity into your stale routine. You spend so much of your time every day working to help other people, so isn’t it time to let someone take care of you? Start planning your spa day right now, and follow these simple guidelines to make it as fun as possible.

First you’ll need to decide on your date and your guest list. Invite all the girls that you want to accompany you on your spa day and come up with a list of a few girlfriends who are ready to go. Pick a few preliminary dates and propose them to your companions to see who will be able to make the trip work. Figure out a date that works for everyone and have the girls mark it on their calendars.

After you’ve decided who’s coming along for your day at the spa, and when the day will be, you’ll need to start shopping for options. Chances are high that there will be several spas in your area to choose from. Take a look at each spa’s website; check out the kinds of services that they offer, and call up to inquire about rates if they’re not listed online. Expect to pay around $100 for a good long massage, body scrub or facial session. Manicure and pedicure treatments often start around the $20 to $50 range, depending on how thorough and luxurious a treatment you want.

Scheduling options might not be too flexible for a large group, unless you make reservations well in advance. To make planning your spa day easier, encourage everyone to choose their own treatments and make appointments on the same day. Plan on arriving as early as possible to enjoy the saunas and pools, or just to spend time relaxing in the sun. Keep an eye on the time to make sure that you don’t miss your appointments, and spend your free time recovering any way you like. Take advantage of free fitness and wellness classes, or just relax and socialize with your companions.

Be sure to bring appropriate attire for your spa day, and remind everyone to do the same. Most spas require appropriate swimwear for their guests in pools, saunas and other facilities. Wear open toed sandals if you plan on getting a pedicure, and bring your own shower kit as well. Most every spa in Brookline Massachusetts and beyond provides shampoo and body wash in their locker rooms, but things like hairbrushes and other personal items will need to be brought with you.

What’s more important than anything else is enjoying yourself on your day at the spa. Get ready to have a good time, and don’t let anything stand in your way. If an unexpected project comes up at work, do your best to knock it out quickly and keep your spa day free. Eliminate every outside concern from your life so that you can enjoy yourself to the fullest. On the day of your spa trip, turn off your phone and forget about work until you get home.

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