If you have a Sophie La Girafe chew toy, you might want to check for THIS
It has been the IT baby chew toy for years now, and is a popular baby shower gift for any new mama-to-be; considered pretty much a must for any nappy bag or changing station.
Yep, thousands of babies across the land are chomping away on their sweet rubber giraffes every day, but the truth lurking beneath the rubber surface of your Sophie la Girafe might gross you out a little, mamas.
Recently, pediatric dentist Dana Chianese, who herself is a mama to two young boys, was cleaning some of her youngest's toys, and noticed that the air coming out of his Sophie la Girafe smelled musty. "I decided to cut into Sophie out of curiosity and discovered a science experiment living inside," Chianese told Goodhousekeeping.com. "Smelly, ugly mould living in my infant's favorite chew toy!"
Chianese explains to GoodHousekeeping that she always cleaned the toy according to instructions, using hot, soapy water with a damp sponge and never submerging it into water. "It still hurts my heart to know that for months I allowed my babies to chew on mouldy toys," she says. "I no longer buy any chew toys with a hole or recommend any to my patients."
And Chianese is not the only one to have made a rather grim discovery about her baby's favourite chew toy. On Amazon, one reviewer tried to alert others to what she found when she cut the legs off of her child's Sophie toy and even shared a picture for proof:
"Beware!! If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole and you'll end up with mould!" says Amazon user Stephanie Opera. "We've had ours for two years and the entire inside is coated with black mold!"
But before you completely panic, Dr. Lyuba Konopasek, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Presbyterian/Weil Cornell Medical Center recently explained to Care.com that exposure to mould in toys is usually not something to be too alarmed about, unless your child has a immune disorder and is allergic to mould.
The only way to prevent mould forming inside plastic toys, according to Carolyn Forte, the director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute is to "make sure the toys are cleaned regularly and thoroughly dried." Hot sudsy water of the dishwasher will work best, according to the expert. Soak for five minutes, rinse well and then let dry completely.