Any parent knows that some kids will put anything into their mouths. We’re always having to think twice about what we give them to play with, wondering if it’s going to end up in their stomach later.
Kinetic sand is a fun sensory toy that can provide hours of entertainment for kids, but is it dangerous to eat?
Kinetic sand is non-toxic, so it’s not dangerous like ingesting household chemicals. Still, eating kinetic sand can cause problems for tiny tummies or pose a choking hazard. Eating a small amount isn’t harmful, but eating a lot may cause constipation or even a bowel obstruction.
Is Kinetic Sand Toxic?
Kinetic sand is a toy made for children and adults alike to play with. It’s meant to be handled again and again, so it’s made from non-toxic, kid-safe ingredients.
According to the company, it’s also hypoallergenic and made from natural sand.
Even so, that doesn’t mean that it’s edible sand. Ingesting a little kinetic sand won’t poison you, but it could cause other problems if you eat too much.
Most older kids know not to eat this synthetic sand, but small children may become interested by its texture and bright colors.
Kids that are at least three years old should be able to play with kinetic sand without you having to worry. However, little ones under three should be supervised with this toy.
What Is Kinetic Sand?
Kinetic sand is a sensory toy made with natural and synthetic products. It’s created using ultra-fine grain sand (much finer than what you’d find in a sandbox), and dimethicone.
Dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) is a silicone that’s often found in face creams, shampoos, diaper rash creams, and other personal care products. It’s also found in another famous toy – Silly Putty!
In studies, dimethicone has been found to be not acutely toxic if ingested, meaning that it won’t kill you if you eat something that contains the compound.
When this ultra-fine sand is combined with dimethicone, it becomes a soft, moldable solid that after handling will keep its form the way modeling clay does.
However, if you stop handling it and leave it alone for a period, it will return to its former sandy texture, like magic!
As a result, kinetic sand can be formed and shaped again and again. Plus, the texture feels really good in your hands.
Is Kinetic Sand Safe to Eat?
Just because it won’t kill you doesn’t mean that you should eat kinetic sand. It’s still a non-food item that’s not meant for human consumption.
Still, it’s good for a parent’s peace of mind to know that nibbling on a little kinetic sand won’t poison their kids.
Eating kinetic sand can cause other problems. First off, it can become a serious choking hazard with very small children.
Its sandy yet moldable texture means that it could easily collect in the mouth and be difficult to remove, or it could block the airway when the child tries to swallow.
If you eat a small amount of kinetic sand, you shouldn’t have any noticeable problems.
It would be a good idea to drink some extra water to rinse out your mouth and throat. However, eating a large amount of kinetic sand could cause some major gastrointestinal issues.
Eating kinetic sand could cause constipation because of the way that it shapes and reshapes as it is handled and molded.
Once the kinetic sand gets into the intestines, it could be difficult for your body to move it through the passages.
A very large amount of kinetic sand could even cause a bowel obstruction, which can be quite dangerous and may even require surgery.
Is Kinetic Sand Dangerous for Pets?
While kinetic sand shouldn’t be too appealing for your pets, there have been some reports of dogs getting into the sandbox and eating the product.
Just like with humans, ingesting kinetic sand doesn’t necessarily cause any problems right away for your pets.
They may continue to act totally normal until they begin showing other symptoms like not eating, vomiting, or constipation.
With dogs, eating too much kinetic sand may cause an internal blockage. As the animal’s body tries to remove the kinetic sand through the digestive system, the sand continues to reshape itself rather than progressing and expelling.
A blockage caused by kinetic sand will likely require surgery to remove it.
Are There Food Allergens in Kinetic Sand?
If you or someone in your family has a serious food allergy, you may be concerned about whether kinetic sand is allergen-free.
According to the company, Kinetic Sand ingredients don’t include peanuts or nuts. However, they also specify that they can’t certify that the product was manufactured in a peanut or nut-free facility.
The same goes for wheat and gluten. Kinetic Sand ingredients don’t include wheat or gluten, but again, they can’t certify whether it was manufactured in a wheat or gluten-free facility.
So, you shouldn’t be overly concerned about allergens when your child handles or plays with kinetic sand.
What Happens if My Child Eats Kinetic Sand?
If your little one ate just a small amount of kinetic sand, it’s probably not something you need to worry about. Still, it’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have concerns.
If you notice that your child is eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom normally, then they will probably pass whatever sand they ate in their normal bowel movements.
However, if they ate too much kinetic sand or if it gets caught in their digestive tract, you should watch for signs of an obstruction.
Signs and symptoms of a gastrointestinal obstruction are much more serious, and you should definitely seek medical attention if you notice any of these:
- Severe constipation
- Lack of appetite or refusal to eat
- Bloated, distended, or sensitive stomach
- No bowel movements
If you believe that your child consumed kinetic sand or any other non-food materials, you should consult a physician if you’re concerned about their health or safety.
You can also consult poison control or get help on their website.
The Bottom Line
You shouldn’t go out of your way to eat kinetic sand or anything else that’s not intended for human consumption.
But, if you or your child does swallow some of this fun sensory toy, you shouldn’t be too alarmed.
In most cases, nothing will happen if you eat some kinetic sand. It will go through your digestive system and leave your body during a bowel movement.
However, there may be some cases where the body has trouble moving the material through your intestines.
In these more serious cases, eating large amounts of kinetic sand could cause constipation or gastrointestinal obstruction.
If that happens, you may need to see a doctor or even have surgery to remove the obstruction.
The best way to prevent problems with kinetic sand is to tell your children not to eat kinetic sand or put it in their mouths ahead of time. Small children should be supervised when playing with the product.
Also, be sure that you store kinetic sand in a sealed container and keep it out of reach of small children and pets when it’s not in use.
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