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January 18, 2017

Health professionals weigh in on Sophie the Giraffe toy mold scare

To toss or not to toss?

Children's Health Mold
Sophie the Giraffe teether Sophie the Giraffe/Facebook

Sophie the Giraffe.

If you're the parent of a young child, particularly a child in the teething age range, you've likely caught wind of the social media storm brewing over reports of mold found growing inside the popular children's toy, Sophie the Giraffe – or Sophie La Girafe, if you want to be fancy.

And your child probably has a rubber Sophie that he or she likes to gnaw on.

But before you go about mutilating the helpless rubber toy that costs, on average, $24 before tax to see if mold lurks inside its belly, consider the overall consensus from health experts on the potential hazards from mold-filled Sophies.

"For most kids, any problem would likely be minor," Dr. Ellen Dutta, a Massachusetts hospital associate physician in allergy and clinical immunology and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, told CNN on Tuesday. By mild, Dutta means potential symptoms might include sneezing, congestion or nasal drip, at most. And that's only if your toy is, in fact, filled with mold.

Other health professionals have said the same.

The advice, then, to those who suspect mold may be sitting in their beloved toy is to just forget about it. Unless, of course, your child has an immune-related disorder, is allergic to mold or his or her symptoms seem beyond those previously mentioned, then toss it and call your physician for further individualized recommendations.

Another thing to note, though, if you are concerned about the reports, is that any squeaky toy with a hole is susceptible to mold if it comes in contact with water. (Sorry, rubber ducky.) 

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