Mom's Warning About 'Safe' Teething Toy Goes Viral After Her Baby Almost Chokes

In news sure to disturb any parent, a baby almost choked on the leg of a Sophie the Giraffe teething toy. Her mother took to Facebook to post about the incident and it has since gone viral. Luckily, the child is OK, but the reaction from the company that distributes Sophie the Giraffe is not what you would expect.


U.K. mom Katie Jones stepped away from her 6-month old daughter Paige to get something from the kitchen. She left her playing with her Sophie the Giraffe teether but when she returned, she could tell something was wrong.

In her Facebook post, Jones writes:

On my return I realized [Paige] had become quiet and lifeless. When I checked on Paige she was turning blue. Paige had got the whole of one of Sophie's legs lodged down her throat. I had to unhook it free and pull out the leg from the back of her throat.

Talk about terrifying! It is a huge relief to hear that Paige is OK, but what if she hadn't been? It is chilling to imagine a child actually dying from what many parents believe to be a perfectly safe toy meant to be put in a baby's mouth. That said, one would think that Calisson Inc., the U.S. distributor of Sophie the Giraffe, would put out a statement of concern for the child and possibly mention working with the company that makes the toy to see how it can be safer for little ones. Instead, they seem flippantly unconcerned. In a email to Yahoo Parenting, they state that Sophie is safe for kids and that it "complies with all U.S. and European safety standards for children for over 50 years and is a wonderful toy." 

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Really? A mother writes of her experience with her child nearly choking to death, and this is what the company that distributes it has to say in response? A quick Google search produces other similar claims of babies nearly choking on Sophie and in 2013 there was a recall on the product having to do with the material it is made with being potentially harmful. This is apparently a somewhat controversial toy from a safety standpoint, and the companies that produce and distribute Sophie need to be receptive to the stories from parents about the hazards the toy can pose.

That said, no parent should blindly take a company's word for it when it comes to their child's safety. Of course the companies that make money from this product are going to stand behind it until forced to do otherwise. Parents need to use their best judgment and go with their gut while also doing their best to provide proper supervision when their children are at play. Just because the company says the toy is safe, it still may not be the case, and parents need to be aware of that fact.

If your baby loves his Sophie toy but this story gives you pause, there is a Sophie teething ring that doesn't have the longer leg pieces jutting out that caused Paige Jones to nearly choke. It has a piece on the bottom covering the legs and seems a safer option than the full-size toy. Hopefully the companies will address this very real safety concern, but until then, maybe it is best to stick to the teething ring rather than Sophie herself.


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