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So, today my child ate Play-Doh


I’m working on the computer, and Pumpkin comes over to me for a little visit. When she opens her mouth to talk, I see her tongue is kind of a blue-green. I ask her to stick out her tongue to get a better look, and wow, it’s really pretty colorful. I then say: “What did you eat?” Pumpkin: “Play-Doh.” I say: “Show me.” She takes me by the hand and into the kitchen, where my mom is chopping vegetables for dinner and had set up Pumpkin at the table to amuse herself with Play-Doh in the meantime. Sure enough, there’s a big chunk of blue-green Play-Doh on the table. I ask: “How much did you eat?” Pumpkin: “Big! Big!” I look at the box and read labels warning that Play-Doh is not a food, but conversely, is also nontoxic. Feeling somewhat reassured, I give a little lecture on Play-Doh’s lack of desirability as a culinary experiment.

Later tonight, Pumpkin’s cheeks are looking really, really rosy and her upper lip looks a little swollen. Maybe it’s just the effect of the half-hour walk we took in the chilly late-afternoon air? Or, maybe, it’s the Play-Doh and some kind of allergic reaction? I Google “Poison Control Hotline” and get the number: 1-800-222-1222. (I think I’ll memorize it, now.) My husband talks to the nice lady and she assures us that Play-Doh is not a hazard, especially if our daughter has been eating and drinking, which she has. She’s asleep upstairs now, and her Play-Doh adventure is hopefully over. (Interestingly enough, the frequently asked questions, or FAQ, section on the Play-Doh Web site does NOT include the question: “What do I do if my child eats Play-Doh?” Although, it does include the information that Play-Doh is “primarily a mixture of water, salt and flour.”)

Even though eating Play-Doh isn’t harmful, this experience was a surprise for me because I thought Pumpkin knew better. She’s 2 and a half, and well past the oral stage. I thought she could distinguish between food and, well, everything else. It makes me aware that I have to be even more vigilant. And, of course, no more Play-Doh with lax supervision.

What have your kids eaten that gave you the shudders?

This entry was posted on Monday, March 10th, 2008 at 9:30 pm by Julie Moran Alterio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Eating, Health & safety, Parenting, Playing




About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE