Your baby's car seat could be dirtier than a toilet, new research reveals

Your child’s car seat could be dirtier than your toilet [Photo: Getty]
Your child’s car seat could be dirtier than your toilet [Photo: Getty]

Your baby’s car seat could be dirtier than your toilet, shocking new research has revealed.

When it comes to keeping things clean for babies, parents are usually pretty on it with the anti-bac wipes.

But while they might think to wipe the table, the floor and their high chair, they might not think to give their child’s car seat the once over.

But that could be a mistake as an investigation from Which? has revealed that buckles, harnesses and headrests of car seats contained gut and faecal bacteria, which could potentially make youngsters ill.

The recent study involved taking swabs to be tested for bacteria such as MRSA, E.coli, Staphylococcus and C.difficile and comparing them to swabs from household toilet seats.

And the results made for some pretty icky, if not necessarily surprising, reading, as anyone who’s ever had to deal with a poonarmi while driving up the M11 will likely testify.

The findings revealed 30 different types of bacteria on the car seats tested, compared to 16 different bugs on the toilet seats.

According to Which?’s researchers, high levels of gut bacteria Enterobacteriaceae and Enterococci, both found on the seats, can be “associated with opportunistic infections.”

This can cause some pretty serious problems, such as sepsis, in anyone with less developed immune systems, such as babies.

30 different types of bacteria were found on the car seats [Photo: Getty]
30 different types of bacteria were found on the car seats [Photo: Getty]

The results echoed a similar University of Birmingham study of car seats, which found an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria in each square centimetre of car seat. Eugh!

In comparison toilets were found to have around half than number, with just 50 germs.

So how to we ensure car seats are clean enough for babies botties?

Which? has put together some tips:

  • Reading the car seat instructions so you know which parts detach

  • Take a video or images of the assembling process

  • Wash thoroughly as per the instructions, paying careful attention to the harness

  • Wash the covers according to the care labels – some can be put in the washing machine and others are hand wash only

  • Ensure you put the car seat back together correctly

Car seats aren’t the only surprising household item that can be dirtier than your toilet, earlier this month it was revealed that your smartphone screen is more than three times grubbier.

And your toothbrush holder and kitchen sponge isn’t much better!

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