Mom Was Horrified When She Found Mold Inside Her Baby's Favorite Teething Toy. But Is Mold Really That Dangerous?

Sophie the Giraffe is one of the most popular teething toys in the United States and Europe. It looks like a cute little giraffe from the outside, but what may hide inside horrified many parents across the country.

READ ALSO: 7 Not-So-Obvious Symptoms Of Mold Exposure

What’s inside Sophie the Giraffe?

When Dana Chianese, a pediatric dentist, was cleaning her son’s toy, she noticed an unpleasant smell coming out of it. When she cut the toy open, she was absolutely shocked: the inside was covered in nasty black mold.

What's Inside? / YouTube

Chianese always followed the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning the toy. She told Good Housekeeping:

It still hurts my heart to know that for months I allowed my babies to chew on moldy toys. I no longer buy any chew toys with a hole or recommend any to my patients.

Chianese was not the only concerned parent who decided to check what’s inside Sophie. Here’s what a woman named Stephanie Oprea wrote on Amazon about her baby’s toy:

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!

Many parents who also bought their babies these toys are alarmed. But how harmful mold really is?

READ ALSO: Mold Removal: How To Take Away Mold With Bleach, Vinegar, And Other Useful Products

How dangerous is mold exposure for children?

Most pediatricians say mold will not cause much harm to children who don’t have mold allergy or weakened immunity.

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Mold is not supposed to cause serious, lasting problems in healthy children. Dr. Ellen Dutta told CNN:

Mold can be a problem as an irritant or an allergen in the air and the types of problems we see can usually be respiratory – so nasal symptoms, sneezing, congestion, nasal drip, cough and asthmatic type of symptoms.

That's what happens in people who are allergic or have respiratory conditions.

Dr. Dutta also said swallowing mold can cause upset stomach.

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According to Sophie the Giraffe’s manufacturer, mold is not supposed to grow inside the toy if it’s cleaned properly. On their official website, they recommend cleaning the surface of the toy with a damp cloth and soapy water. It’s also clearly stated in the instruction that Sophie is not a bath toy and it shouldn’t be submerged in water, sterilized, boiled, or put into a dishwasher.

So, if you own a Sophie or other toys with holes in them, don’t take them to the bath. If your baby’s saliva got inside the toy and you notice a moldy smell, simply discard it. Mold may or may not cause harm to your child, but still it’s better to be on the safe side.

READ ALSO: 8 Ways To Protect Yourself From Harmful Mold And Make Your Home Mold-Free


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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