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Is Your Baby’s Car Seat Dirtier Than Your Toilet?

A new survey has found car seats can harbour more germs than your toilet seat

When you consider the squashed biscuits, yogurt and spilt juice (not to mention the occasional nappy disaster or sick toddler accident) that end up on your little one’s car seat, it’s perhaps no surprise that it can end up looking and smelling quite grubby.

READ: GROUP 1/2/3 CAR SEATS: OUR AT-A-GLANCE GUIDE

And when scientists from the University of Birmingham took swabs of 20 car seats and 20 homes, it was discovered there was an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi lurking in each square centimetre of car seat fabric.
 
A toilet, meanwhile, contains around half of that – just 50 germs in the same area. Some of the bugs included potentially dangerous E. Coli and salmonella.

READ: 10 THINGS THAT USUALLY HAPPEN DURING A CAR JOURNEY WITH KIDS

The study, which was supported by Continental Tyres, found that 60% of motorists are totally unaware of the health risks a dirty car poses to them and their passengers, and one in five motorists tidy the inside of their car just once a year.

'Many people are driving around in vehicles which resemble a rubbish tip without realising the hazards,' said Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres said.
 
‘To stay safe whilst driving and avoid health risks drivers should regularly clean their cars inside and out. Clutter as well as germs can present a real hazard.’
 
If your baby’s car seat has seen better days, check to see if you can remove the cover for washing. Don’t tumble dry it as it could shrink the cover, making it difficult to put it back on.

READ: 15 TODDLER FOOD HYGIENE RULES YOU REALLY NEED TO FOLLOW

Sponging it down regularly with soapy water will help to remove stains and kill germs, but do this on days when you don’t need to go anywhere as it make take a while to dry out. Alternatively, try sprinkling with bicarbonate of soda and then vacuuming the seat, as that helps to remove strong smells and stains.

How often do you wash your baby’s car seat? Let us know in the comment box below.

 
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