This blog was written before the COVID-19 pandemic – see our Indoor Playground guidance here

One of the main advantages of soft play and a leading cause of their ever-increasing popularity is their safety. By providing a secure environment for children to explore their surroundings and test their limits, soft play facilities  can contribute to children’s’ physical and mental development whilst mitigating the potential for injury. However, recent articles and studies have suggested that soft play areas may have unseen dangers – specifically, being host to germs and bacteria. Is there any truth to this?


Like anywhere that humans visit, bacteria and germs will follow. It is impossible to remove the risk of germs completely, much like in the home. However, despite many headline-grabbing articles in popular newspapers suggesting that soft play areas are ‘virus-ridden disease dens’, only one specific scientific study has taken place with regards to the cleanliness and hygiene of soft play areas. This study was specifically linked to a certain area of the USA and only looked at ball pool pits.

There is no significant evidence to support the idea that some soft play sites contain  germs or bacteria that may harm children in any greater capacity than naturally mixing in general public.

This said, it is important to minimise risks wherever physically possible as the cleanliness of your site is important to the reputation of your business. Particularly in the current age of social media, where news travels fast and bad news (seemingly) travels immediately, it is important for operators and staff to be vigilant – any lapse of standards can quickly spread through the local community and spread distrust about your business.

Through over 25 years of trading and 12 years of managing our own children’s play centre,  House of Play have developed  support packages to help keep your business clean and sanitised. These ranges from advice about suitable cleaning products for daily use to a full deep clean service as part of our servicing packages. We even offer emergency call-outs, no matter where you are based in the UK, if a situation arises that needs to be dealt with urgently – to find out more, please ring us on 01302 846876 and one of our friendly and experienced team will be happy to help!

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