Mom sparks safety concerns over popular baby toy
Published Thursday, August 28, 2014 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:04PM PDT
A Vancouver mom has some safety concerns with a popular baby toy after experiencing a scary incident with her son.
Tracy Kung says the Sophie la Giraffe teething toy was the only thing that used to calm her baby son J down when he was teething. Kung thought the cute rubber giraffe was perfectly safe for her infant son to chew on.
"This company has a 50 year reputation of no recalls, they market themselves as being safe, natural toys," she said.
The iconic giraffe is handmade in France with natural rubber and non-toxic paint. The manufacturer boasts, "Sophie has been safely cuddled and chewed for 50 years!" on its box.
But a few weeks ago, when baby J was playing with his Sophie in the living room, he suddenly got very quiet.
"And then I looked over and I came a bit closer and the Sophie was kind of at a funny angle, and this little flap was inside his mouth," said Kung.
Baby J had managed to gnaw the giraffe's rubber foot partially off.
"I just freaked out and I had to pry his mouth open and he was screaming and I yanked it out and I saw this little bit, and at first I thought it had totally detached," she explained.
J's parents immediately sent an email to the manufacturer Vulli in France. But Kung says she never heard back from anyone at the company.
It's not the first safety complaint about the toy. The Sophie was briefly pulled from store shelves at Babies “R” Us five years ago because of choking concerns.
The company says the toy was pulled “for a period of two weeks while Health Canada completed its investigation. The toy was deemed safe and Sophie was returned to store shelves."
In light of this recent safety complaint filed in Vancouver, CTV News reached out to the toy's manufacturer. The general manager of Vulli in France told Steele on Your Side he is very surprised.
He wrote that, "each Sophie la Giraffe is inspected individually...14 times during the manufacturing process."
Each toy is also put through a rigourous pull test.
Vulli checked its current production line after receiving the Vancouver complaint and told CTV News the company “did not detect any concern regarding the quality of our product."
Vulli has now asked the Vancouver parents to ship little J’s giraffe teether to France for examination. It’s a move J’s parents are happy with.
"Maybe have a closer look, explain what happened a little bit closer and see if it was just an isolated incident," said Stafford Harper, J's dad.
The sticker on back of the Sophie teether box does clearly warn, "never leave a child unattended while chewing on any toy"
J's mom says she feels guilty about the near choking incident, but that it's virtually impossible to watch your baby 100 per cent of the time.