You know the sloosh, sloosh, slosh sound your kiddo’s bath toys make long after they come out of the water? Yep. Well, then it should be no surprise to you that rubber duck toys are filled with bacteria. Every splash, dunk and drink of water that good ol’ ducky takes comes the potential for bacterial build-up. At least, that’s what new research from Swiss and American scientists may have found.

We’ve all been there—you’re trying to get the water out of your tot’s favorite ducky by squeezing the little bird in the middle. Out gushes a stream of gunky, brown-tinged water. Ewww. That’s it. You toss the toy, keeping the slimy, weird-looking ooze far, far away from your kiddo.


Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois recently published a study in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes that tackled the inside-of-the-ducky environment. And what did the Swiss and American researchers discover?

The insides of rubber duckies that the researchers studied had “potentially pathogenic bacteria” inside of them. This included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Among the toys studied, there were between 5 million and 75 million bacterial or fungal cells per square centimeter of toy interior area.

So what does this mean? Well to start with, make sure to completely clean your child’s bath toys. And don’t ever let your child drink the water that squirts out of the bottom of their ducky. Just don’t.

What do you think about this new research? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

—Erica Loop



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