The maker of Sophie the Giraffe, a popular baby teething toy, have responded to reports from worried parents after they discovered that the toy can fill with mould.
The hollow giraffe, which has been purchased by celebrities including Uma Thurman, received negative reviews on Amazon after parents cut open the toy and found mould inside.
One US customer wrote on Amazon: “Beware. If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole and you’ll end up with mould. We’ve had ours for two years and the entire inside is coated with black mould.”
Another added: “I received a Sophie la Girafe as a baby shower gift. After reading news stories about the black mold problem with these toys, I cut open mine and also found black mold!”
Parent Stephanie Oprea shared a photograph of the inside of her child’s giraffe as a warning to other parents.
She wrote: “Beware! If you have a drooly baby, moisture will get in the hole and you’ll end up with mould! We’ve had ours for two years and the entire inside is coated with black mould!”
A spokesperson for Vulli, the toy’s French manufacturer, said that incorrect cleaning methods could lead to a build-up of mould.
“It’s important to know that Sophie The Giraffe is composed of 100% natural rubber, so the cleaning instructions have to be carefully respected,” the statement said.
“As indicated on the packaging and in an explanatory leaflet inside the packaging, we recommend to clean the surface of Sophie The Giraffe 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 emphasise on the fact that it is important, while cleaning the product, that no water gets inside the hole.”
The statement went on to say that anyone with a complaint about the toy should return it to the manufacturer.
“Please know that each complaint received is taken very seriously and that the return of the product is always asked for further examination,” it said.
“Furthermore, please know that the safety of children and satisfaction of their parents is our main priority.”