There are always items that mothers deem a must-have – sleep bags, Bumbo chairs, nursing pillows, these are just some items that make modern motherhood a bit easier.
Sophie the Giraffe is a trendy teether that many of my friends recommend. It’s not cheap, retailing in Malaysia at around RM108. Moms declare that it’s worth the price because of how organic it is – its made from natural rubber with spots painted on with food grade paint. At least we have the peace of mind knowing its safe for our little ones to chew on. It’s also nice and soft, apparently a hit with all kids and most importantly, it’s really cute.
But a piece of news just went viral last week when horrified mother Dana Chianese cut open her son’s Sophie the Giraffe and discovered it was filled with mold!
Photo by Dana Chianese.
Chianese told Goodhousekeeping.com that she was cleaning the toy one day when she noticed the air coming out of the hole smelled strangely musty.
“I decided to cut into Sophie out of curiosity and discovered a science experiment living inside. Smelly, ugly mold living in my infant’s favorite chew toy!” she says.
Imagine the horror!
She says that she always carefully cleaned the toy according to instructions, using hot soapy water with a damp sponge and never submerging it into water.
This prompted other parents to cut open their expensive teethers to make some horrifying discoveries for themselves. You can see more pictures here.
Sophie the Giraffe does have a little hole, that enables her to “laugh” when squeezed. But as all moms who have battled bath toys filled with mold will know – holes equals water getting in equals mold.
A spokesperson for Sophie the Giraffe had this to say:
First of all, it’s important to know that Sophie la Girafe [Sophie the Giraffe] is composed of 100% 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.
Although mold exposure is not serious for babies with a strong immune system, children with mold allergy may develop coughs and itchy eyes. Mommy Chianese says she will no longer be giving any toys with holes in them to her babies.
“It still hurts my heart to know that for months I allowed my babies to chew on moldy toys,” she said.