How to prevent mould from growing in Sophie the Giraffe

Parents have been taking to social media to share pictures of mould-filled Sophie the Giraffe toys. Ack! Here's what you can do to keep your baby's favourite teething toy mould free.

Photo: Dana Chianese

Toys that squirt water and squeak are super fun—but unfortunately, unless you diligently drain them after every bath, there’s a good chance they’re harbouring potentially dangerous mould.

Dana Chianese, a paediatric dentist and mom of two, decided to clean her kids’ toys and noticed a musty smell coming out of the popular French toy, Sophie the Giraffe. Chianese sliced open the giraffe and was shocked to discover that it was full of black mould. Gross! After sharing the photos on social media, others uploaded images of their own mould-filled Sophies. The pictures are especially alarming since so many babies love to chew on this squishy giraffe.

Sophie actually isn’t intended to be a tub toy (the company doesn’t recommend it), but she totally seems dunk-worthy.

So, how do you avoid a mouldy situation to start with? Make sure your kid’s tub toys are actually intended for bath fun. For tub-specific toys, apply a dollop of hot glue over the hole in the toy and voila no water can get inside. This will work for Sophie too if your tot insists on taking her into the tub. Sophie will be a bit less squeaky, but just as fun to gnaw on.

Safer (and just as fun) bath toys include measuring cups, strainers and funnels. A plastic medicine syringe works well if your kid just has to squirt. Ask your doctor or dentist if they can spare one at your next visit. Just watch out because once your kid figures out she can squirt you, you’ll be getting a bath too.

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