Reports of mold inside Sophie the Giraffe teething toys are scaring parents.
According to KTLA, pediatric dentist Dana Chianese claims she was cleaning a Sophie the Giraffe toy when she noticed an odd smell emanating from a hole in the toy. Chianese cut the toy open and found what she claims resembled a "science experiment." Inside, was a massive congeal of mold coating.
The toy is made by French company Vulli and comes with a warning that the giraffe might be damaged if submerged in water. Chianese claims she followed the cleaning recommendations, which are to use a damp cloth and soapy water, but still found the mold inside the toy.
And she isn't the only one.
Stephanie Oprea posted to Amazon a photo of the inside of her giraffe, with the following caption: "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 user posted a similar story on What to Expect, a website for expecting moms:
I, like many bought into the whole Sophie Giraffe craze. 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.
According to Good Housekeeping, the company has issued the following statement:
First of all, it's important to know that Sophie la Girafe [Sophie the Giraffe] is composed of 100 percent natural rubber, so the cleaning instructions have to be carefully respected. As indicated on the packaging and in an explanatory leaflet inside the packaging, we recommend to clean the surface of Sophie la Girafe with a damp cloth. It should not be immersed in the water nor rinsed off, to prevent water from getting inside, as she may become damaged. We thus would like to emphasize on the fact that is it important, while cleaning the product, that no water gets inside the whole. As of now, we have not been contacted by Mrs. Chianese nor Mrs. Opera and were not aware of the situation before reading your article. It is thus difficult for us to comment on the current situation, as we haven't had the chance to examine the products. Please know that each complaint received is taken very seriously and that the return of the product is always asked for further examination. Furthermore, please know that the safety of children and satisfaction of their parents is our main priority. For the past 55 years, we have always strived to exceed security standards and all of our products comply with the most stringent global standards