Is this the end of a loveable bath toy?

 

Rubber Duck in bath

Rubber Duck in the bath

According to researchers, it’s a resounding no. However, there are some key practices that are very important in keeping bath toys ‘safe’ and hygienic for kids during bath time.

As long as I can remember, the conventional rubber duck has been the quintessential bath time toy. However, like most parents, we’ve surely known that they can’t be the most hygienic toy item. Researchers have echoed this sentiment with their own study conducted on the most popular bath time toy: The Rubber Duck

A research article, recently published in the journal – NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes in March 2018 has shared some startling conclusions into the bacterial world inside our bath time rubber duckies. As we know, most rubber ducks are hollow inside, allowing for water to get through and for it to be squeezed out (what we hope) with a duck-like sound. A study involving 19 rubber duck bath toys from Swiss households have discovered a sophisticated bacterial and fungal community within the confines of the rubber duck. The study spanned a total of 11 weeks with bath usage occurring every second day.

Biofilms (thin, slippery layers of bacterial communities and other microorganisms) unmistakable to the eye, were found to dwell in the insides of the rubber duck. It even featured pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas – a bacterium that can cause serious ear, eye and gastrointestinal tract infections in people. Scary.

 

What’s causing this nasty growth?

Lead researcher Frederik Hammes has namely put it down to the plastic material of the rubber duck and further explained this idea to CNN:

Rubber Duck cut open to reveal insides filled with slimy growth of microorganisms.

The inside of the rubber duck lined with a slimy growth of bacteria and microorganisms.

“All these soft plastic materials have softeners called plasticisers in them to make them flexible,” Hammes, who conducted the study with five other researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, told CNN. “(The plasticisers) Migrate out of the plastic into the water. The bacteria like to eat them.”

You’ll be happy to know that our tap water alone cannot encourage this type of bacterial growth, however, when mixed with dirty bath water, warm conditions and this plastic material-  well that creates a very nice living environment for our tiny guests.


How harmful is this bacterial growth to us and our children?

As humans, we encounter all sorts of bacteria daily. Most of these organisms are actually quite excellent in encouraging and building our immune systems to ward off possible infection. So, don’t freak out just yet! Bacteria can do us good! However, it is quite concerning for people with weakened immune systems, particularly those who are susceptible to infection such as children and the elderly.


What can we do to prevent bacterial growth in our kid’s toys during bath time?

It’s not all doom and gloom! There are many safe practices that can be employed in maintaining the cleanliness of our kid’s bath toys. They include and are not limited to: boiling, removal of water after use and cleaning toy items with hot water and soap. Or the easiest way to prevent any bacterial growth inside your rubber bath toy is to just plug the hole entirely (super glue can do the trick). It may be the end of Mr Ducks squirting fun, but it does give us all some peace of mind during bath time.

 

 

Sources:

Neu, L., Bänziger, C., Proctor, C., Zhang, Y., Liu, W. and Hammes, F. (2018). Ugly ducklings—the dark side of plastic materials in contact with potable water. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 4(1).

Doug Criss, C. (2018). The inside of rubber duckies are full of bacteria. You don’t seem surprised. [online] CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/29/health/rubber-duck-bacteria-study-trnd/index.html

Image source: Google & Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag)

 

Say “HELLO” to our new ‘www.onlinetoys.com.au’ website!

It’s finally happened. After almost a year or planning, design, and testing, we are very excited to announce the arrival of our brand new Online Toys Australia website. It’s less than a day old (as we write this) and already we are seeing positive comments coming through from some of our loyal fans and first time visitors.

The launch of our brand new toy website is everything we hoped for and we hope you’ll agree that it’s a massive improvement over the old website in terms of speed, looks, and ease of use.

For one thing, we’ve added a ‘Save’ function to help customers identify and save toys that they can review later or add to their wishlist or shopping cart. It’s such a simple feature, yet its also very useful and can save tou a tonne of time sifting, sorting and choosing just the right toy(s). So go ahead and try it. You’ll find the ‘Save’ link on every product in our store.

We’ve also revamped the Customer Reward Points system. Now, whenever you are logged in and wish to make a purchase, simply click on the ‘Redeem your reward Points’ link, enter the amount of points you wish to use (the website will also show you how many points are available in your account) and click the ‘Redeem’ button. The website will then automatically calculate and include the discount to your order! It’s super easy use and can be hugely ‘rewarding’!

Our new website is now 100% mobile friendly which means you can enjoy all of the desktop functions and features on just about any device you might have. The website will adjust to any screen size either in portrait or landscape modes and even allow you to zoom in for a closer look. It’s a huge improvement over the old store in so many ways.

Many customers said they loved our old website, however, experts kept telling us that it was too cluttered, and that some of the pages looked too ‘busy’. Fortunately for them, and everyone else, we saw the light and decided to open up the space by giving our customers only what they need and remove anything they don’t. We’re sure that it will make everyone’s shopping experience much easier on the eyes!

The new website has eliminated many of the ‘barriers’ when it came to the checkout. Some of our customers actually found the experience a little troublesome so it is with great pleasure that we inform everyone that our new checkout is also much improved. And with our all-new, auto-fill address system, incomplete and inaccurate addresses are a thing of the past. For example, just begin typing the shipping address and the website will automatically suggest suitable matches with every keystroke you make.

How about trying the new ‘drag and drop’ function when adding a product to the cart. It’s different and pretty cool at the same time. Simply click and hold any product thumbnail and drag it to the side of the page and watch what happens!

Have you notice our thumbnails are now much larger? Well, they’re almost 80% larger actually. Compared to the old website we think it’s a massive step forward. Now you can browse our product range to SEE and clearly identify all the products at a single glance. You can throw away the magnifying glass now!

Now we get to the best part. Our new search and advanced filter system is sure to make your shopping a breeze. Customers will no longer need to browse through hundreds of pages of products to find the perfect gift thanks to the powerful filters that are at your disposal. Customers can now narrow down their search criteria by simply selecting the appropriate filers that suit their needs. Which means a say 100 page search result, for example, all of the sudden becomes just a one or two page list!

So have a look around. Let us know what you think and don’t hesitate to contact us if anything is not quite right.

Online Toys Australia Warehouse Refurbishments 2015

Due to possible disruptions to order processing, as a result of refurbishment works being carried out to our warehouse, we have been forced to close all operations for 3 days next week commencing Tuesday 13th Jan 2015. We will reopen on Wednesday to try and despatch as many orders as possible before we close again on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th January 2015. Our store will resume normal operations 9:00am Monday 19th January.

Monday 12th January – OPEN
Tuesday 13th January – CLOSED
Wednesday 14th January – OPEN
Thursday 15th January – CLOSED
Friday 16th January – CLOSED

We apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure may be cause our valued customers.

2014 Cut-Off Dates For Christmas Deliveries

santaAt this time of the year we often get asked if an order is going to arrive in time for Christmas. To help make the answer as clear as possible, Online Toys Australia have drafted the following Christmas guide that should represent ‘safe’ cut-off dates for Christmas deliveries for each State & Territory for 2014.

However, please use this information as a guide. Online Toys Australia cannot accept liability or responsibility regarding delays caused as a result of unforeseen circumstances, delays caused by third party service providers and mother nature.

Our advice is always place your order early. Leaving orders to the last minute puts pressure on everyone, as well as unneeded stress on you and your family.

If in doubt, call our store on 03 9394 1944 and we’ll do our best to determine your chances of a safe delivery this Christmas.

Cut-Off Dates for Christmas Deliveries Across Australia

Date Location
19th December Melbourne Metro
18th December Sydney Metro, Country Vic, Canberra, & ACT, Adelaide Metro, Hobart Metro
17th December Brisbane Metro
14th December Perth Metro, Darwin Metro, Country NSW, Country Tas, Country SA
12th December Country QLD
10th December Country WA, NT Country

Online Toys Australia will be taking a short, and well deserved break over the Christmas period between 2:00pm, 24th December 2014 and 9:00am, 5th January 2015. Our web site will continue to operate as normal, however, orders cannot be processed during this time.

Management and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their loyal support in 2014 and to thank everyone for shopping online with one of Australia’s best loved toy stores. Happy holidays to all and please keep safe this summer.

Just Like The Real Thing

It’s not often we come across a ‘toy’ that looks and works like the real thing. The price tag alone would suggest that it’s a toy, but when you pick it up and feel the weight of the wood and metal parts, you’ll quickly realise this is no toy. So what on earth are we talking about? We’re talking about a 1/2 size electric guitar that not only looks awesome, but also sounds great and features a built-in amplifier and internal speaker as well. No external amp/speakers or messy cables needed here!

meg3006-half-size-electric-guitar-with-built-in-amp-black-scorpion-design

Looking for a cool Christmas gift? For less than $60.00, this half-size electric guitar with built-in amp and speaker is a top 5 contender for 2014.

The price tag is a measly $59.99 (plus shipping), which is roughly double the price of the usual plastic variety, such as  the Wiggles Musical Guitar that’s currently retailing for $34.99. But this guitar is not plastic, it doesn’t play voices and it doesn’t have flashing lights or feature built-in music at the press of a button. This is an electric guitar in all its glory, only tweaked for a younger audience.

With it’s solid timber neck, high-gloss wooden body and shiny metal fittings, this guitar has it all. Grab a pick (included) and you’ll immediately realise you’re playing the real thing and at half the price you would normally expect to pay elsewhere.

Insert a 9V alkaline battery and you’re ready to hear yourself play through the built-in amplifier and speaker. And if you prefer to hear your music loud, the standard output  jack allows you to connect to your choice of external amp. The standard output jack also doubles as a headphones jack so you can listen more clearly to the tunes you are playing (the neighbours may appreciate you doing it too).

Learning to play a musical instrument can be fun and very rewarding for children and adults alike, particularly when the instrument is of good quality, features good sound qualities and looks absolutely awesome. Would-be guitarists may also want to mimic their rock star idols – and they can – with this fantastic electric guitar.

So if you’re stuck and you don’t know what to buy your kids this Christmas, get the coolest looking electric guitar from Online Toys Australia and you could end up being responsible for creating a future star in the music industry… How cool would that be!?