Sophie the Giraffe is a popular children’s teething toy that is making headlines because of the mold some parents have discovered growing inside.
According to Sophie the Giraffe’s official website, the toy is more than a teether- it is also capable of stimulating all five senses.
“Sight: The dark and contrasting attention catching spots all over Sophie la girafe’s body provide visual stimulation and she soon becomes a familiar and reassuring object
“Hearing:The squeaker keeps a baby amused and stimulates his hearing.
“Taste: It is made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, and is completely safe to chew, just like a feeding bottle teat. Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts (ears, horns, legs), make her perfect for soothing a baby’s sore gums during teething.
“Touch: Sophie the Giraffe has a soft feel, like a baby’s mother’s skin, which stimulates physiological and emotional responses that soothe and promote healthy growth and well-being.”
While Sophie the Giraffe seems to be the perfect stimulating toy, parents have recently discovered the toy they have been giving their children to teeth with may be a danger to their health.
According to Good Housekeeping, pediatric dentist Dana Chianese has been recommending Sophie the Giraffe to parents for their teething children for years. However, last month she made a discovery that would keep her from ever recommending the toy again.
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) January 15, 2017
“I decided to cut into Sophie out of curiosity and discovered a science experiment living inside,” Chianese said, adding that she always cleaned the teether according to the directions. “Smelly, ugly mold living in my infant’s favorite chew toy!”
“It still hurts my heart to know that for months I allowed my babies to chew on moldy toys,” she continued. “I no longer buy any chew toys with a hole or recommend any to my patients.”
Chianese isn’t the only parent to find mold growing inside their child’s favorite toy. One Amazon review warned parents of the potential dangers of the teething toy.
— Baby Essence (@Essence1Baby) January 9, 2017
“Beware!! If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole and you’ll end up with mold!” Stephanie Oprea wrote in a review in February 2016 along with pictures of the mold. “We’ve had ours for two years and the entire inside is coated with black mold!”
Another parent shared their experience with Sophie the Giraffe on What to Expect.
“I, like many bought into the whole Sophie Giraffe craze,” the reviewer wrote. “I had read a story about her legs getting caught in the throats of some babies recently, and it scared me a bit, since my daughter LOVES chewing on the legs. My DH and I thought we’d be smart and cut the legs, so they weren’t so long…Afterall, she’s a $30 toy, we didn’t want to just throw her out. Well, when we chopped the legs, it revealed a lot of mold growing inside!! Needless to say, Sophie is now residing at her new home at the dump. Just a little heads up to other moms who have this toy. Sorry my photography isn’t great, but you can clearly see the mold.”
So bored of these stories tbh, use a bit of Milton fluid and rinse toys inside and out. https://t.co/JQSf8JcX0V
— Tattooed Mummy™ (@tattooed_mummy) January 16, 2017
While finding mold in your child’s toy may be scary, Dr. Lyuba Konopasek, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Presbyterian/Weil Cornell Medical Center, told Care.com that it normally isn’t very serious. Unless the child has an immune problem, “[t]he likelihood of a child getting sick from this is close to zero.” If the child does have a mold allergy, they may experience coughing, itchy eyes and other allergy symptoms.
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