contamination in a child care room?

I volunteer in a church nursery. Animal cookies and gold fish crackers are given as a snack. Recent request that staff wash childrens hands after the snack due to a child on a gluten free diet - child does not have a med dx of autoimmune, celiac, or interstinal - gluten free is the parents healthy diet lifestyle. Parent requesting is concerned gluten is contaminating toy surfaces - (child on the gluten free diet comes with a gluten free snack)

I think handwashing should be done to deter germs although I am not certain gluten contamination is transferring to toys - children are 4-5 years and not children who would mouth - contaminating toys! Just handeling toys after a snack.

I have enjoyed this web site - trust your answer. Thanks

Steve's Response: Thank you for your comments/question and thank you for enjoying my site! The response I'm going to give is purely my OPINION and NOT a medical diagnosis. As I state on my website I am not a doctor and any specific concerns about celiac disease and gluten intolerance should be answered by a qualified medical doctor. That being said, I do have my own opinion and my opinion is based on our real life experiences with our son.

In our house, we have never had a problem with "transferring" gluten from someone's hands onto anything that is not used for food preparation(like toys). For example, I am not gluten free and I may put my hands on the back of a chair. My son has never had any issue of using the same chair or furniture that I used after touching the chair with his hands. When he was younger, he never had a problem with playing with toys that other kids used with their hands. Such as wiffle ball bats, baseballs, footballs, etc... As my son is now in high school he has started weight training and never has a problem using the same exercise/weight training equipment that someone just used after eating non gluten free food?

So in my opinion, transferring food to toys should not be an issue, of course unless some child just had chocolate cake and cake crumbs were on the toy and the gluten intolerant child got cake into his/her mouth? Finally, washing hands is never a bad thing so I agree that it makes sense to wash the kids hands especially after eating.

Hope this helps?

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