Recent reports in the news about moldy baby toys have parents freaking out across the United States! The reports began after pediatric dentist, Dana Chianese, told Good Housekeeping that she noticed a musty smell coming out of the hole in her son's Sophie the Giraffe. When Chianese decided to cut open Sophie out of curiosity, she was horrified to discover ugly mold living inside of the popular teether. Since Chianese’s story blew up on social media, other parents have followed suit and reported that they too have found mold growing inside of Sophie.

Beyond Sophie

According to the statement that Sophie manufacturer Calisson released to Good Housekeeping in response to the mold reports, Sophie should be cleaned without submerging her in water in order to keep it mold free. The reality is, however, that any child's toy with holes in it can serve as a reservoir for trapped moisture, and mold thrives in damp, dark environments. As any parent will tell you, most babies and kids will put toys in their mouths at some point. Because of this, any toy with holes has the potential to collect drool, dirt, and old food that could turn into mold. In addition, bath toys (with or without holes) are also potentially problematic because of the wet, damp environment they're usually in.

What can parents do?

One quick fix option floating around the internet is for parents to plug-up any holes in toys that could be collectors of moisture and debris. This can be done with a dab of hot glue. It is also important to always follow the toy’s cleaning rules from the manufacturer. For example, the manufacturers of Sophie recommend wiping it down regularly with a damp cloth.

Products like Baby care by e-cloth’s Chemical-free Toy and Nursery cloth are a smart choice because it removes over 99% of bacteria from toys and nursery surfaces using just water and a cloth. No chemicals are used so parents don’t have to worry about exposing their little ones to toxins.

Breaking the mold

Several toy manufacturers are a step ahead of the game and are creating products specifically designed to keep mold at bay.

One such company is Marcus & Marcus who recently launched a new line of Mold-free bath toys. Blasting News recently spoke to Victoria Nauta, CEO of Marcus & Marcus, who shared her company’s commitment to breaking the mold cycle:

“At Marcus & Marcus we are parents too! We understand that every toy or product that goes into your child’s hands, also goes into their mouth. So we designed our bath toys to be taken apart. Now your child gets the fun of a squirting toy and you (the parent) have ease of mind knowing it can be cleaned and sterilized with boiling water. It’s the best of both worlds. When your child puts their Lola the Giraffe teether, or any of the other four Marcus and Marcus characters in their mouth you can be at ease knowing there is nothing growing inside.”

With so many options on the market, parents are armed with several ways to keep their kids free from mold.

Keep in mind, though, if you do find that any of your child's toys have mold in or on them, don't freak out, just toss it out. Many toys do have an expiration date, and are not meant to last forever.