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Polystyrene


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The reason I've never used polystyrene is because if swallowed could cause choking ( it breaks easily, so even large pieces could break and be swallowed) and also if it lodges in the system, cannot be detected by x-ray. Not sure if it is even digestable.

This information is only what I know, but don't know where I know it from, could be an urban myth, just never wanted to take the risk.

I look forward to others comments too.

 

peggy

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I think I have heard that about xray machines too. They do break up easily so there is a risk of choking.

Shame though cos they do feel great dont they?

 

On the same line,

I have been given by our Head - a huge carrier bag of gorgeous shiny conkers. I really dont want to waste them but am worried about safety. We are a reception class so I am sure they could be counted /sorted under careful supervision but are they poisonous?????

I would hate to chuck em tho?? Any ideas??

 

Michaelle

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I think I have heard that about xray machines too. They do break up easily so there is a risk of choking.

Shame though cos they do feel great dont they?

 

On the same line,

I have been given by our Head - a huge carrier bag of gorgeous shiny conkers. I really dont want to waste them but am worried about safety. We are a reception class so I am sure they could be counted /sorted under careful supervision but are they poisonous?????

I would hate to chuck em tho?? Any ideas??

 

Michaelle

 

 

There is a current topic about conkers H&S

 

Here

 

Peggy

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same as others, not seen on xray and easily inhaled they are light...corn starch ones dissolve so are usually ok,

 

(when he was a teen my son used to taste them and came to no harm said they dissolved on his tongue and tasted of nothing! Tasted lots of odd bits my son, said the cheesy biscuits given to cats were rather good, the chicken ones yuk! his theory if the cat ate it it should be ok. drew the line at dog food!)

 

Inge

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We were told on recent DT health and safety training polystyrene chips are a no no, as well as dishwasher tablet/powder boxes, they are absolutely toxic and grains of tablet etc show up on xray! Also a no no are plastic meat trays and any egg boxes contaminated by raw egg. Anything else seems ok, although we were warned to be careful where we get our toilet roll middles from!! Not worth thinking about sometimes. :o

Liz x

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Not even washed as they have been in contact with raw meat and you cant guarantee they will be totally spotless, no matter how hard you scrub! apparently.

Liz x

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We have loads of stuff brought in for our tech area (posh name for junk area!) We do not use many of the above listed but also we do not use kitchen roll tubes aswell as the loo roll tubes. We where advised not to use these tubes, i can understand the loo rolls but the kitchen roll tubes puzzled me. After enquiring it was explained "incase they have came into contact with raw meat" I guess this is possable as we do touch the top of the roll when tearing of a sheet to use in the kitchen. But I also think we are all playing it so.... safe as any one ever heard of any child becoming poorly due to building with tubes from kitchen rolls or loo rolls?

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well done sussex! A sane balanced statment.

 

I sometimes wonder how i survived my childhood, everything I enjoyed doing as a child is banned because of health and safety. I understand that there may be a risk with polystyrene and very young children. But don't we supervise them?

 

I upset a parent helper the other day by leting the children use a proper Knife to cut up fruit, she didn't think it was appropriate, a plastic knife would be better. Have you ever tried to cut an apple with a plastic knife?

 

if I had given the child the Knife and walked away, or allowed him to run around with it in his hand, then it wasn't safe. But he was learning to use the correct tool for the task! Isn't that what he was supposed to be doing?

 

Sorry for that little rant there. ( a personal hobbyhorse) I feel better now!

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I thought we could use toilet rolls if we put them in the microwave???? but would never use polystyrene chips cos of the choking.

on a different line I used to eat my dogs dog biscuits as a child. bit dry but quite tasty. think its one of those things some pregnant mums do as well isn't it?? :o:D

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Thanks for that link Sue - makes sense to me!

Elle - you are absolutely right about the knife and apple thing, they are more likely to cut or hurt themselves with a blunt knife trying to cut an apple and have the knife slip on the skin. Sharp knives have a place in Early Years especially when well supervised and taught properly, it's a life skill and very satisfying for the children.

Liz x

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  • 2 years later...

We've been giiven some polystyrene for our junk modelling area. Have always understood this to be a no no because of the risk of choking/not showing up on x-rays. I was wondering if anybody had any up-to-date information on the use of polystyrene or could point me in the right direction to look?

 

Thanks

Deb

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I think we have discussed the HSE myth site recently I'll have a look.

As far as egg boxes and toilet roll inners are concerned look here.

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/august.htm

 

We were stopped from using polystyrene in school in my LA years ago, mainly because it easily disintegrates and can be inhaled, blocking the airways.

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Thanks Jackie, what a great website. I have emailed the HSE for advice and will post a reply if and when I get a response.

Great Deb - it would be good to have an answer from the horse's mouth so to speak. :o

 

Maz

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Well below is the reply I received from the HSE hotline. I will let you know when I get around to contacting the list they gave me!

 

Deb

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Polystyrene use in pre-school.

 

There is nothing in HSE legislation that states that polystyrene cannot be used in pre schools. However, the Department for Children Schools and Families may have produced guidance relating to this matter. The contact details for the

 

Department for Children Schools and Families are as follows:

 

Department for Children Schools and Families

 

Sanctuary Buildings

 

Great Smith Street

 

London

 

SW1P 3BT

 

Tel: 0870 000 2288

 

Fax: 01928 79 4248

 

e-mail: info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

 

Internet: www.dcsf.gov.uk

 

Further to this the following organisations may also be able to provide you with guidance in relation to child safety:

 

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)

 

Playground Office

 

The Old Village Hall

 

Kingston Lisle Business Centre

 

Wantage

 

OX12 9QX

 

Tel: 01367 820988/9

 

Fax: 01367 821013

 

Email: info@rospaplaysafety.co.uk

 

Internet: http://www.rospa.com

 

Fields in Trust

 

Head Office

 

2d Woodstock Studios

 

36 Woodstock Grove

 

London

 

W12 8LE

 

Tel: 020 8735 3380

 

Fax: 020 8735 3397

 

Email: info@fieldsintrust.org

 

Internet: www.npfa.co.uk

 

Fair Play for Children Association

 

35 Lyon St,

 

Bognor Regis

 

West Sussex

 

PO21 1BW

 

Tel: 01243 869922

 

Fax: 01243 869922

 

Email: fairplay@arunet.co.uk

 

 

Playlink

 

72 Albert Palace Mansions

 

Lurline Gardens

 

London

 

SW11 4DQ

 

Tel: 020 7720 2452

 

Email: info@playlink.org.uk

 

Internet: http://www.playlink.org.uk

 

Pre-School Learning Alliance

 

The Fitzpatrick Building

 

188 York Way

 

London

 

N7 9AD

 

Tel: 020 7697 2500

 

Fax: 020 7700 0319

 

Email: info@pre-school.org.uk

 

Internet: http://www.pre-school.org.uk

 

Child Accident Prevention Trust

 

4th Floor

 

Cloister Court

 

22-26 Farringdon Lane

 

London

 

EC1R 3AJ

 

Tel: 020 7608 3828

 

Fax: 020 7608 3674

 

Email: safe@capt.org.uk

 

Internet: http://www.capt.org.uk/

 

I hope this helps, but if you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact this address again or telephone HSE Infoline on 08453 450055.

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Back to the polystyrene issue- I spent an dreadful time in hospital with my son when he was 3 having pieces of the nasty stuff removed from his ears that he had decided to fill up for fun. He had pushed the bits in so far that they had to be removed surgically. Not nice!!! So I personally have a big fear of it.

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Oh yuk!!

 

As far as it expanding is concerned, my husband assures me that it isn't possible for it to expand in water, as it's already 'expanded polystyrene' It is impervious to water, which doesn't form any part of its manufacture. It is a petroleum based product.

 

It's flammable and gives off toxic fumes if it burns. Otherwise it is inert, and a good insulator.

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