When pediatric dentist Dana Chianese was cleaning her infant's favorite teething toy, she smelled something pretty gross. She cut the toy open only to find the entire insides covered in black mold!

An Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Presbyterian/Weil Cornell Medical Center says exposure to black mold in small amounts probably won't hurt your child, unless they have a compromised immune system.

Plastic toys should always be washed, especially since little ones are putting everything in their mouths!  You can use hot sudsy water or even put them in the dishwasher (by the way, here are a few other surprising things you can wash in the dishwasher!)...but then they should be disinfected.  Use a solution of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water, soak the toys for about 5 minutes, RINSE off and air dry.


The following statement was issued yesterday by a spokeswoman for Sophie the Giraffe:

First of all, it's important to know that Sophie la Girafe [Sophie the Giraffe] is composed of 100% natural rubber, so the cleaning instructions have to be carefully respected. As indicated on the packaging and in an explanatory leaflet inside the packaging, we recommend to clean the surface of Sophie la Girafe 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 emphasize on the fact that is it important, while cleaning the product, that no water gets inside the whole. As of now, we have not been contacted by Mrs. Chianese nor Mrs. Opera and were not aware of the situation before reading your article. It is thus difficult for us to comment on the current situation, as we haven't had the chance to examine the products. Please know that each complaint received is taken very seriously and that the return of the product is always asked for further examination. Furthermore, please know that the safety of children and satisfaction of their parents is our main priority. For the past 55 years, we have always strived to exceed security standards and all of our products comply with the most stringent global standards.