Over the last few days, we've been seeing a succession of Facebook posts about mouldy children's beakers and spill-free cups. Some of the posts have made it into the mainstream news – and we can totally see why.
Take Penny Powell's pictures of sippy cups belonging to her friend's child. The mould inside the cup's spout mechanism was spotted when the child was unwell – and Penny and her friend were trying to work out what was causing him to be sick.
Penny shared the photos as a reminder to parents everywhere to make sure they follow the cleaning instructions that come with this kind of cups: the beakers she pictured are Tommee Tippee ones but, here at MFM, we know they're not the only brand of non-spill cup that could have this issue.
Mon ami se demandait pourquoi son fils était toujours malade il a donc briser l'anti-fuite de son verre à bec Tommee...
In fact, a dad whose daughter had had a bad stomach for weeks has shared images of a sports-type water bottle with a valved spout that also had mould on the inside.
Tommee Tippee has stated that there should be "no problem" with their cups when recommended liquids are used but that "‘difficulties have arisen when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice and warm liquids".
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They've also offered some tips – responding speedily to parents' concerns over the issue – by sharing these diagrams on how to disassemble and clean their beakers effectively.
It's important to stress that we've seen no evidence that these children became ill directly because of the mould in the cups.
But we still reckon these photos are a really good reminder about the need to have a proper read of the instructions that come with any valve-fitted beaker, cup or bottle and regularly the spout elements apart to give them a really good clean – preferably in a dishwasher (if the cup is dishwasher-proof).