You know this toy.
This is Sophie the giraffe. It's the toy you've seen EVERY infant chewing on since before we evolved into humans. Turns out, it's disgusting.
Pediatric dentist Dana Chianese had been recommending this toy to the parents of teething infants for years. That is, until a month ago when she noticed something odd while cleaning the one she gives to her own sons.
"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!"
THIS. HAS. BEEN. IN. YOUR. BABY'S. MOUTH.
It looks like the shower floor of a hostel in there, and it's the most popular infant teething toy in America.
What's happening is Sophie the giraffe has a small hole on the toy to make it squeaky, and that is how moisture is getting in and causing the mold. The instructions say to not submerge it under water, but if it's going in your baby's mouth, it's gonna get some drool.
Other parents are noticing it, too. Almost a year ago, Stephanie Oprea discovered the same problem and left this review on Amazon.
"The entire inside is coated with black mold."
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!
Go ahead and cut open your child's Sophie giraffe to see for yourself. And get ready to take some gnarly pics.
A spokesperson from the makers of the toy recently sent out this response:
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.
But what about the drool factor? To be safe, throw away that giraffe, and let your baby teeth on something that doesn't have a hole.