That harmless-looking canary yellow rubber duck that is your toddler’s favourite bath time toy could be doing more harm than good, warn Swiss and American researchers.
In fact, new study has suggested that sickness and disease could await your precious baby because of all of the nasty bugs hiding inside the plastic toy.
Researchers found a very high level of microbes and bacteria, including the Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that are often implicated in hospital-borne infections.
So is it time to deep-six yucky ducky?
Doctors in Dubai resoundingly have a unanimous ‘Yes’ for worried parents.
Dr Sandeep Panikkasseri Dasan (right), specialist paediatrician at Aster Clinic, Muhaisnah, explained: “Stagnant water in any form harbours a wide range of microbes including deadly bacteria and fungus. The duck has a hollow centre where water often gets trapped. This water is mixed with saliva, urine and other secretions and stands in the hollow becoming an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, especially the Gram-negative strains such as E. coli and other pseudomonas from faecal matter.”
Dr Dasan said these travel into the child’s digestive track as most children put their duck into the mouth causing nausea, vomiting, digestive track infections and diarrhoea.
“Parents come to us often unable to understand why their child is sick when they have been so particular about keeping the environment sterile. But they often overlook the harmless looking duckling standing in the damp corner of the bath tub,” said Dr Dasan.
Apart from bacteria that require the child to undergo antibiotic treatment, the duck also harbours fungi such as candida and other moulds as well because it remains in a damp and moist environment that is an ideal ground for breeding such microbes, added Dr Dasan.