[UPDATED: Response from manufacturer] Sophie the Giraffe is a popular teething toy, but some parents are finding mold inside. Mold is found inside yet another popular children’s product. Mold issue the valves of Tommee Tippee Sippee cups, forced a recall last year.
If you’re a mom, you know teething toys are an important part of comforting your drooling and cranky child. The teething tablets and gels are not safe according to the Food and Drug Administration, leaving many parents to use toys and ice gels.
Babies like Sophie because she’s flexible allowing a child many places to chew. The giraffe is made of 100% natural rubber and food paint. The problem is the hole in the back of the toy. The manufacturer recommends you use a damp cloth and soapy water to clean the surface of Sophie. You are not supposed to submerge the giraffe in water.
Sophie has an added ingredient for water getting inside. Children drool like crazy when they teeth. Most kids slobber and drool all over Sophie when using the giraffe making it easy for water to get inside.
Good Housekeeping reported the moldy giraffe issue, but there are reports on Amazon from February 2016 detailing the mold issue.
On Amazon, Stephanie Oprea writes, “Beware! If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole and you’ll end up with mold! We’ve had ours for two years and the entire inside is coated with black mold!”
Another parent, J. Blizzard, cut open his Sophie after hearing about the potential mold issues. He says he washes the giraffe according to the manufacturer recommendations, but he also showed a picture with mold inside.
Other parents say they didn’t find mold inside Sophie the Giraffe. The only way to find out is to cut open the giraffe.
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Manufacturer responds to Sophie mold claims
The manufacturer, Calisson Inc., sold more than 30 million Sophie teethers.
Calisson said in an email, the cleaning instructions need to be followed since the giraffe is 100% natural rubber. “It should not be immersed in water nor rinsed off, to prevent water from getting inside, as she may become damaged.” The manufacturer goes on to say parents need to make sure no water gets inside the hole.
“In addition Sophie is intended for use by only 1 child. We have also seen pictures of people altering the toy by cutting legs. This is a big NO!!” This is then considered damaged and unsafe. Sophie IS designed especially for the safety of your child and complies with all worldwide safety standards. Also DON’T FORGET – THIS TOY MUST BE USED ONLY UNDER ADULT SUPERVISION.”
As a parent, lots of kid toys have holes in the back. With a child’s toy, you have to clean them at some point. Water inevitably leaks inside the toys, and it’s a reminder to parents to follow the cleaning instructions. Plus, make sure the toy can air out so you don’t end up with mold inside.
If you would like to see how Sophie is made, you can watch the manufacturer’s video.
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