CLEVELAND -- We know germs are lingering everywhere -- especially on kids’ items. But as their immune systems are still building, any exposure to bacteria can get them sick. This week on Channel 3 News Today, we tested the things your kids touch every day for dangerous bacteria and found alarming results.


For our first test, we had CETEC Labs in Cleveland examine a well-used pacifier. It’s one of the items the moms we talked to say they worry about the most when it comes to germs and infections.

CETEC labs ran tests to see what was growing on the surface.

They found 120 units of staphylococcus aureus on the pacifier. According to the Health protection Agency, anything more than 20 units can lead to nausea, vomiting, muscle cramping or worse.

And to put it in perspective, typically, a toilet seat has less than 20 units of staph.

Dr. Frank Esper with University Hospitals says staph on surfaces isn’t the main concern. It’s when it gets into a cut or under the skin that staph can cause an infection.

“What we've seen over the last decade, decade and a half, we've seen a lot more staph skin infections, a lot more boils where there are puss pockets on top. Sometimes we have to drain them and sometimes they can drain on their own.”

The best way to combat infection is by washing hands frequently and sanitizing pacifiers with hot soapy water.