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Playdough - Is The Concern Ingestion Or Also Touch?

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My 2.5 year old girl has recently been very emotional, which is the same behaviour we always see when she gets gluten. She also gets dark rings under her eyes. I am positive that she did not get any gluten from food, but she has been playing with play dough a lot over the last few days. I thought we were very careful that she does not ingest any, so I was wondering if the touch alone could be an issue? Of course it is possible that she did not have her hands washed immediately and touched something else that she put in her mouth, but would that be enough to cause an issue?

My daughter has not been officially diagnosed with Celiac, since we did not want to put her through that at the age of 1.5, but she has been gluten free for almost 1 year now and her weight went from 1% to 10%, her hair started to come in as well and she used to have some strange emotional behavior that completely disappeared. So, at the very least there is some gluten sensitivity and she does have the Celiac gene.

I would really appreciate any input on the play dough.

Thank you.

Evelyn

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Well she needs to ingest it to cause a reaction so the actual touching it shouldn't cause damage. HOWEVER, the play doh is all over her hand and those hands touch everything and may even go into her mouth before they are washed. She could get a reaction from cross contamination from the play doh on other surfaces and then she touches them and puts her hands in mouth or touches food, etc. I won't even let it in my house at all. My youngest son last year in kindergarden was told not to play with it and his teacher was informed also. Told them of the risks of cc even from the other kids. He also had a nail biting habit so not good. He kicked that habit within a few months luckily. I won't let him do pasta projects either because of the same issues.

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The problem is that there is often flour on the outside of the playdough that rubs off onto hands as they play with it. I make our playdough with gluten free flour to avoid this.

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Playdough - is the concern ingestion or also touch?

Both (for us)! It is hard to guess how sensitive your DD may be with contact exposure. I also don't understand super sensitivity very well, but we seem to be on that end of the spectrum. I don't know if our kids' obvious reactions from early on is simply an indicator of our personal genetic expression or if it can be generalized to all early responders (my DD2 responded obviously with her first bite of gluten; therefore she is "allergic" to gluten as well as having celiac complications that cannot be "gold standard" (aka biopsy) diagnosed due to her "allergy" (we hope . . . and yeah, do you want to biopsy a baby when you just want them to be well issue).

Anyway, overlooking potential contact issues, the problem that we have with play-doh is that it is sticky and gets on every surface it touches. So your child has sticky, gluteny fingers and transfers some gluten to every surface that she touches (same for any other adult/helper/other kids involved in the activity). We have never used regular play-doh, and we maintain procedures for working with our "gluten free" doughs. We try to keep it on mats, and it is only used on a kid table that is separate from our eating space (in our kid/play/craft room). We are mindful of washing hands immediately after using it and cleaning up. And we are mindful to not eat while playing with it. We provide gluten free doughs and tools for our childrens' classes, as they cannot tolerate standard play dough used in a classroom setting.

And I was pretty shocked by how devastating celiac has been for my kids. We intervened early. We have investigated lots of other things at this point. But the damage done from incidental gluten exposure has been apparent. I somehow thought initially that I was going to avoid all of the celiac complications because we had gone gluten free so early. It hasn't quite panned out that way. We have to be very mindful of gluten, including incidental and environmental exposures.

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Play Dough is made with wheat flour, They are very open about that. I don't eat the Play Dough like some small kids do but I won't use it. Everytime I have played with Play Dough (a great product, just not for Celiacs) I get it under my nails & I worry that I can't wash it out well. It seems to show up for the next few hours - apiece in my long hair, a piece on the dog, etc. Then it will fall out when I am eating or fixing food.

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Small kids put their hands in their mouths a lot. Even if she doesnt and you wash her hands well, Playdough gets under the nails and stays there. Playing with it is not safe for that reason. Moon Dough is gluten free if you are looking for a storebought replacement. Or you can find gluten-free recipes for homemade playdough by googling.

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Our concern is ingestion, but we don't have it in the house or anywhere near Adam. He puts everything in his mouth (he has severe pica - just got a call this morning that his zinc level is VERY low so he's being put on 110mg zinc sulphate to see if that helps) so it would, without a doubt, end up in his mouth.

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