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Dealing With Gluten In Art Supplies At School

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My son is 3.5 years old and has been gluten-free since his Celiac diagnosis 1.5 years ago. He is doing great, but as he gets older, I'm discovering the challenges of dealing with school and classes, etc. Cy is taking an art class at a local NY Kids Club and although they assured me that they don't use play-dough and are familiar with gluten-issues and even noted in "our chart" that Cy has Celiac, when he walked into the classroom on the first day, play-dough was all over the table. I immediately mentioned it to the teacher and she pulled it off the table and put down something called "floam," but left all the rollers and play-dough toys out for the kids to play with. The teacher seemed to have no idea of Cy's gluten issues.

I didn't want to disrupt class and my son is pretty good about not putting things in his mouth, so I left feeling very anxious and went to talk to the manager. I talked with his teachers after class and after a few phone calls, I've gotten a list of all their art supplies and am starting the process of contacting the manufacturers to determine the gluten status of everything.

I'm pretty sure nearly everything is safe, EXCEPT for the play-dough. I offered to bring in gluten-free play-dough for the entire class, but I think I'd also have to bring in tools, too. The manager wasn't too keen on my doing that and she mentioned that maybe Cy could wear gloves on the days they are using gluten supplies. I do NOT like this idea. Am I crazy? Is this what you do with your kids in art classes?

What do you suggest I do? Keep him home on gluten art days? It's only a 45-min class, 1x per week. Just wash his hands really well after class? How likely is it that he'll actually ingest gluten from playing with play-dough? We're really strict about gluten in our home and as far as we can tell, he's never been glutened since going gluten-free... so I'd hate to "let my guard down" with this class. At the same time, I'd like him to get to do this class and it's good practice for us heading into pre-K next year.

I just am wondering how you've dealt with this situation. In addition to checking on the gluten-status of all their art supplies, I'm also going to give the manager and teachers a letter, just reminding them what gluten is and asking them to please let me know what days they plan on using gluten art supplies. If I can convince them to let me supply them with gluten-free options, I will (papier m

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IMO

If they understood his needs and stated they could and would comply with his needs then I would be as "strict" as necessary. Yes I would ask them to wipe down tables, remove playdoh or other gluten supplies. Instruct hand washing before and after class and offer to speak to instructor directly on his needs. If they decide they cannot comply with his needs then you can make the decision to pull him out or not.

BTW ,My 7 yr old played with playdoh twice before I realized that was what making her sick. So yes even if they don't put fingers in mouths or chew nails it still happens.

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We asked that they either a) not use it, B) switch to a safe play-doh c) use it the days my DS isn't there (he's there 3 day/week). My boy is a finger sucker with still high ttG's and I suspect it is from things like this and things not getting wiped down properly :( It's totally possible he could get sick, as a pp mentioned. And I would 100% ask them to clean the tables before your class (which SHOULD be getting done anyway!) You are correct that it would not only involve getting the safe dough but also safe tools.

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Plus the other kids would need to wash up after the play-doh so they wouldn't contaminate him through hand to hand contact.

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