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How Long Does the Chicken Pox Virus Live on Toys?

Updated February 21, 2017

Chickenpox is a relatively harmless illness that causes red, itchy spots or blisters on the skin. In most cases, it affects children and generally poses no serious risk. The virus can live on surfaces outside of the human body.

Viruses

Generally speaking, viruses are unable to live for more than a few hours outside of the human body.

Risks

People who should take precautions to avoid carriers of the virus, as well as the toys of children who have chickenpox, include adults who never had chickenpox, some pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

Hard Toys

The chickenpox virus typically dies within a few hours on hard surfaces, although it can take as long as 24 hours.

Soft Toys

Soft toys can hold moisture better than hard surfaces, meaning that saliva, mucus and other bodily fluids infected with the virus take longer to evaporate. Once the fabric has dried, the virus is vulnerable.

Killing the Virus

You can kill the chickenpox viruses by cleaning toys with bleach or rubbing alcohol.

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About the Author

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.