If you have kids, or even if you've ever had to buy a baby shower gift for someone else's kids, you probably know Sophie the Giraffe.
The soft, squeezable, chewable teething toy is a favorite with parents around the world for its cute design, reasonable price, and all natural materials. All of these factors have helped make Sophie the 10th best selling baby toy on Amazon, but some parents have discovered a disgusting problem with their child's toys.
If you're one of the more than half a million people who bought a Sophie last year, you'll want to see what may be hidden inside the giraffe. But be warned, this is pretty gross.
Dana Chianese, a pediatric dentist from New Jersey, was noticing a musty smell coming from insider her son's toy. Chianese says she regularly recommends the toy to new parents, but won't anymore after what she found. The inside of her toy was filled with gross, black mold.
This "science experiment," as Chianese calls it, isn't just growing in her toy. Other users on Amazon.com and parenting sites have reported finding mold in their toy as well.
One mother shared her discovery after cutting off Sophie's legs to make the toy safer for her infant:
If you own a Sophie toy don't panic. Even if mold is growing inside, experts say it's not immediately dangerous to your child unless they have a mold allergy. Some parents are also suggesting that this whole scare has been overblown.
Laura Gratton shared these photos on Facebook after cutting her son's toy open, warning others they may not need to junk their giraffes just yet.
If you want to keep your Sophie clean and safe, make sure it stays dry as much as possible. If your child is using it every day, you might want to clean out the inside once a week with very warm water, or a mixture of vinegar and water.
Be on the lookout for that warm, musty air that Chianese spotted coming out of the squaker in her toy and you should be fine. Still, better safe than sorry!