Child Ate Play Doh or Clay | Illinois Poison Center 
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My Child Ate Play Doh or Clay

Oct 20, 2020
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Play Doh or Modeling Clay



This information applies to children who have unintentionally swallowed a small amount. If the child swallowed more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount swallowed, call your local Poison Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a nurse, pharmacist or physician for recommendations specific to your situation.  The call is free and confidential.


  • Toxicity level Minimally toxic


  • What It Is: Play Doh and other commercially produced modeling clays are malleable substances used in arts, crafts, and children’s toys.  Ingredients vary depending on the brand, but this type of clay is considered non- to minimally-toxic. 

Note: Some homemade clay or ‘slime’ recipes use Borax or boric acid, which can be toxic if enough is swallowed.  If your child swallowed Borax or boric acid, call 1-800-222-1222.


  • Possible Symptoms of Poisoning: Swallowing a mouthful or less of Play Doh or modeling clay should not cause any symptoms.  Vomiting or constipation can occur if large amounts are eaten.

NOTE:  You should be concerned if your child experiences these symptoms: vomiting (more than once), persistent/continued diarrhea, choking.  Call your local Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222.



  • What You Should Do: If your child is not having symptoms, give a few sips of water. If vomiting, constipation, or any other symptoms occur, call 1-800-222-1222.

NOTE:  If your child has gotten this substance in their eyes, please view our Eye Exposure information.



If you have any further questions about this substance, or if your child is experiencing any symptoms, call the poison center experts who are available 24/7 via the free, confidential helpline: 1-800-222-1222.   Don’t guess, be sure!



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The IPC is the oldest poison center in the U.S. and serves one of the largest populations of all poison centers in the nation (covers all 102 Illinois counties with a total estimated population of nearly 12.9 million).  The IPC:


  • Provides a variety of free education and presentation materials that can be shared with your community (stickers, magnets, posters, children’s activity sheets, handouts, etc.).  Prior to placing your first order, if you haven’t already done so, please complete the free online Poison Prevention Education Course and Resource Center (PPERC) .  Eligible persons: anyone age 13 years or older living/working in Illinois; general public and healthcare providers alike.



  • Saves lives and improves patient care by working hand-in-hand with hospitals in Illinois to provide expert medical advice to doctors, nurses and paramedics treating patients exposed to potentially harmful substances. In addition, the IPC saves the people of Illinois $60 million annually by resolving 90 percent of poisoning cases from the general public over the telephone, preventing unnecessary 911 calls and visits to a doctor or hospital.  Click here for more information.