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Did Your Kid Eat Playdough? When to Worry

    First of all, relax. If your child consumes playdough in small quantities, it is not a health hazard, but this behavior can result in a serious emergency. In most cases, your child eating Playdough can be solved without involving 911 or a pediatrician.  However, do not take our word for it. We of course urge you to consult a medical professional.

    What to Do Immediately Your Kid Eats Playdough

    After realizing that your child has swallowed some playdough, you need to remain as calm as possible and keep reassuring your kid. Find out what is happening, whether the modeling compound is stuck in the throat or somewhere in the esophagus. Offer the child clean water to drink. 

    My Kid Ate Manufactured Playdough

    In no time, your child may start complaining about stomach upset. Before you take your kid to the doctor, locate the playdough’s packaging and read the labeling. That information will help you decide the next steps, but generally, commercial playdough is non-toxic. 

    The playdough you buy has been tested and should not harm a child when swallowed. It is designed to be safe for children to play with, and the labeling will indicate which ages it’s suitable for. It is recommended that you should not give playdough to children under two years.  

    My Kid Ate Homemade Playdough

    If the modeling compound was home-made, you have nothing to worry about, and you should wait it out. Hopefully, you had prepared it using edible ingredients but if there was anything toxic added, consider visiting a health care facility. You could also call your local poisons office customer support and explain the situation and follow the advice they offer. 

    Playdough contains baking soda and salt, which give it a sour taste to discourage children from consuming it more than once. Home-made modeling dough may contain sweet-tasting ingredients, which may encourage a child to eat more because they assume it is food. 

    If that was the case, then find out how much playdough your kid ate. 

    Salt Poisoning 

    According to this BBC report, the amount of salt in playdough prepared at home can be toxic, unlike the commercial variety. Manufacturers ensure that they balance the ingredients so that it is not harmful when swallowed by humans. Eating of playdough that’s a product of home chemistry, on the other hand, is not as regulated and may lead to:

    • Vomiting.
    • Listlessness.
    • Headaches.
    • Irritability. 


    You have to determine whether any of the ingredients used in both the commercial and home-made playdough can lead to an allergic reaction from your child. Knowing whether there is a likelihood of an allergic reaction will give you enough time to treat it before the symptoms become severe. The moment your kid starts having trouble breathing, swelling in the throat and is covered in hives, seek medical attention immediately. 


    This is the most visible reaction, and the best remedy for a cough choking is gargling salt water. In case your kid has playdough stuck in their throat, then you have to administer the Heimlich maneuver. 

    You need to remember to be gentle for this procedure because this is a child you’re dealing with. 

    1. In toddlers, place them on your legs as they face your feet, then do gentle back blows and light chest thrusts.
    2. For an older child, form a fist and place it in the area between their chest and abdomen. Place the other hand on the fist and thrust down the abdomen. Repeat this maneuver until they cough out the playdough.

    These methods are just first aid measures before accessing a pediatrician. Ultimately you should bring your child to a hospital as fast as possible in case of severe playdough choking.  

    How to Prevent Playdough Eating From Happening

    If you have to make playdough at home, only use edible ingredients but don’t make them sweet. Make them taste awful but healthy in case your kid decides to swallow it. 

    Ensure that your child understands what is suitable for eating and swallowing before allowing them to access playdough. 

    Monitor your young one as they play around with playdough. Supervising your child can be impractical sometimes, which only means that the kid is not old enough to play with modeling dough. 

    An instance of Playdough eating should only concern you if the child starts exhibiting worrying symptoms. Typically a verbal assurance washed down with at least two glasses of water is enough, but don’t hesitate to consult a pediatrician after the fact.

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