What to Know About Mombella Mushroom Teethers
People who purchased popular teether toys on Amazon reportedly received emails from the retailer last Thursday, urging them to stop using the toys over asphyxiation concerns. Both the Eco Inspired Mushroom Teether Toy and Mombella Mimi Mushroom Teether have been pulled from Amazon. (However, Walmart appears to have both teethers for sale still.)
If your baby uses these popular teethers, it’s understandable to have questions.
Several members of the What to Expect community shared screenshots of the emails they received. A screenshot from one of the reported emails says that Amazon’s product safety team determined that the teether “has the potential to form a seal” at the back of the throat “which could potentially lead to asphyxiation.”
The email urged customers to “stop using it immediately” and “dispose of the item.” Some parents in the What to Expect community have since reported that they’ve stopped using theirs.
Both products are made of silicone with a suction cup base that can attach to a table or high chair tray. Each has a mushroom shape with antennae-style protrusions.
Amazon appears to have removed all similar mushroom teethers from its website, although as of May 27, an Amazon representative has not responded to What to Expect’s request for confirmation at the time of publication. Walmart has also not responded to a request for comment.
However, there is no evidence these teethers, or similar looking ones, have been recalled at this point — in the U.S., at least.
There isn’t any recall information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and a CPSC spokesperson declined to comment on whether the Mombella Mimi Mushroom teether was being recalled.
Mombella spoke out about the Amazon unavailability on Instagram last week. “The Mombella Mushroom was never recalled, but we have stopped selling on Amazon due to necessary applications,” the company wrote. “Our Mimi the Mushroom can be expected to get back on the shelf anytime soon.”
Mombella supplied documents in another Instagram post, noting that the company’s mushroom teether passed several suffocation tests. The company pointed out that the teether’s “uneven rim” makes it difficult for the teether to suction to a baby’s face and cause asphyxiation when it’s flipped inside out.
Mombella also referenced an article from Irish publication RTE that notes that Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has issued an “emergency recall” for a mushroom-shaped teether toy for babies due to the high risk of suffocation. “A safety issue has been identified where the mushroom head of the soother can flip around creating a very tight suction which causes a suffocation risk,” the article reads, noting that there are 40 affected products in Ireland.
The U.K.’s Office for Product Safety and Standards has issued a recall of the similarly designed Seeway Mushroom Teether toy over suffocation concerns.
While there has not been an official recall of mushroom teethers in the U.S., it’s a good idea to be wary if you have one of these at home, says Daniel Ganjian, M.D., a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Any time there is a product recall, if the product is similar to yours, you should take it away from your child,” he says.
Dr. Ganjian has concerns about the mushroom style which, as other recalls have pointed out, could cover a baby’s nose and mouth if flipped inside out. This could create a tight seal and interfere with breathing, adds Michael Bauer, M.D., medical director and pediatrician at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Dr. Ganjian is also concerned about the teethers’ stalks. “They are weak spots that are easy to break off, especially when a baby gnaws at it over and over,” he says. “It can break and cause a choking hazard.”
We’ll update this post when we get more information. In the meantime, it’s important to keep teether safety tips in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) specifically warns about using teether necklaces and beads over concerns of choking and strangulation hazards. Teething products should be BPA-, phthalate-, PVC- and lead-free, says Dr. Bauer.
The AAP says that plastic and rubber toys can be a good option to help with teething pain. The organization also recommends using damp washcloths that have been twisted and frozen, doing a light, gentle massage of your baby’s gums and talking to your pediatrician about using acetaminophen (Tylenol) if baby seems to be especially uncomfortable.
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