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January 14, 2020 Tuesday 02:19:27 PM IST

Play-Doh, Dry Pasta Safe for Kids to Play in School

Photo by LMoonlight for

Use of Play-Doh and uncooked paste is safe for play at school and does not cause any risk unless consumed, a preliminary study by Children's National Hospital and published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition said. The study did not find any significant gluten transfer on hand or surfaces after it was used by students for classroom and sensory play. Gluten transfer was associated with other products such as paper mache and baking projects with flour based dough. When hands and play surfaces were washed and cleaned there was no presence of gluten. The study revealed that school supplies that were dry and non-sticky had low gluten transfer while those objects which were wet and pasty cling on to hands and surfaces.
The study found negligible gluten transfer in two scenarios:Play-Doh: After five minutes of play, none of the samples rubbed on the hands of children had gluten transfers above the 20ppm threshold. Only two slices of bread tested above the 20 ppm threshold when rubbed on table surfaces. Both of these slices had visible pea-sized pieces of Play-Doh adhered to them.Dry pasta in a sensory table: All samples (hands and surfaces) contained less than 20 ppm gluten, and 9 out of 10 samples were under 5 ppm after five minutes of play.
“Educators are very aware of our additional responsibility to keep students safe during every learning experience at school,” says Amy Damast, Ph.D., Director of Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement at the Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Program and study co-author. “These study findings should reassure us all that routine, careful handwashing and surface-cleaning methods will keep children with celiac disease safe and healthy, while allowing them to participate in more activities that may involve gluten-containing materials.This study is a win for the students and their schools.”
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