Bubble Trouble in Hospitals: Children’s Toy Found To Contain Deadly Bugs

Children, although wild and carefree, are fragile beings who tend to be very susceptible to bacteria and infections. Upon arrival at hospitals, children are given bubble solutions to calm their nerves. Ironically, a study found that these bubble solutions, given to children to make them feel at ease, are a possible source of nasty and serious infections. We often try to protect our children from bacteria found on money, shopping carts, toilet seats, and door handles; therefore, the fact that harmful bacteria can be found in something given to our children at a hospital – a place where they should be safe – is rather alarming.

Usually scared, nervous, and uncooperative, children are given bubble solutions for therapeutic play to calm their nerves. These bubble solutions create supposedly create bubbles that float effortlessly through the air: who doesn’t like bubbles? A study conducted by Dr. Valsan Verghese, from Edmonton, proves that these solutions can be dangerous to our kids. In the study, which was presented at the AAMI-CACMID microbiology conference this year, seven separate bubble solutions were cultured on blood (BAP), MacConkey and Phytone agars. The solutions with positive growth were subcultured for identification, then five new bottles of the same solution were acquired and cultured for further confirmation. Also, the Hospital Infection Control database was cross-referenced for healthcare-associated infection due to the agents isolated.

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