Reports of mold found inside of “Sophie the Giraffe” teething toys are causing outrage among some parents.
Pediatric dentist Dana Chianese said she was cleaning a Sophie the Giraffe toy last month when she smelled something musty coming from a hole on the toy, GoodHouseKeeping.com reports.
“I decided to cut into Sophie out of curiosity and discovered a science experiment living inside,” Chianese told Good Housekeeping. “Smelly, ugly mold living in my infant’s favorite chew toy!”
The directions for cleaning the product, which is made by the French company Vulli, say the giraffe can be damaged if it is fully submerged in water.
Chianese, who is a pediatric dentist, told Good Housekeeping that she always followed the directions when cleaning it and only used a damp cloth and soapy water.
“It still hurts my heart to know that for months I allowed my babies to chew on moldy toys,” she told Good Housekeeping. “I no longer buy any chew toys with a hole or recommend any to my patients.”
And while the directions say to avoid submerging the toy in water, it may not be easy to keep moisture from getting inside of the toy giraffe, according to another parent who also found mold.
On Amazon, a parent named Stephanie Oprea posted a photo of her child’s Sophie the Giraffe toy, which appeared to be full of mold.
“Beware!! If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole, and you’ll end up with mold,” Oprea said in a review of the product. “We’ve had ours for two years, and the entire inside is coated with black mold.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Vulli for comment.
Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman