The Medical News

The Medical News

Study: Children with public insurance are more likely to receive unnecessary medical care The results showed "a very low or negligible risk" of gluten exposure after handling Play-Doh or dried pasta. "For years it has been assumed that children with celiac disease shouldn't play with Play-Doh, for example, because it has a high risk of gluten cross-contact," Ms. Weisbrod comments. "Our study provides quantifiable evidence that it doesn't." In contrast, significant amounts of gluten transfer – more than 20 parts per million – were found after the children handled papier-mâché, cooked pasta, and cookie dough. "[W]e found that school supplies that are dry had very low gluten transfers while materials that were wet and sticky tended to cling to the hands of children and table surfaces," Ms. Weisbrod and coauthors write. Even after the children handled wet or sticky materials, handwashing or cleaning the table surfaces eliminated gluten transfer. Washing with soap and water was "consistently the most effective method." Celiac disease may affect about one percent of the world population – perhaps 740,000 school children in the United States. Celiac disease is managed by a gluten-free diet, but strict avoidance is difficult in a "gluten-filled world.""Gluten at school is often a source of anxiety for children with celiac disease and their parents," according to the authors. While activities using wet materials and wheat flour do pose a risk of gluten transfer, the risks associated with other materials such as Play-Doh and dry pasta "may have been historically overestimated," the researchers write. "[C]hildren with CD may be able to use these materials safely in the classroom environment, provided that the materials themselves are not consumed." Ms. Weisbrod and coauthors discuss strategies that schools may use to reduce the risk of gluten transfer during these activities – including some simple alternatives to gluten-containing materials. They conclude: "It is important for patients with CD and their parents to continue to work closely with school administrators, teachers, and other educators to develop appropriate reasonable accommodations to mitigate the risk of gluten transfer in the classroom so that students can participate fully in all learning and social activities." Source: Wolters Kluwer Journal reference: Weisbrod, V.M., et al. (2019) A Quantitative Assessment of Gluten Cross-Contact in the School Environment for Children with Celiac Disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition . doi.org/10.1097/MPG. 2588 .



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