My Toddler Ate a Crayon – What to Do?

It’s not uncommon for toddlers to put things in their mouths, and crayons are often a target due to their bright colors and appealing texture. If your child has ingested a crayon, it’s important to know how to respond appropriately.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do if your toddler eats one of those colorful, fun objects!

Immediate Steps to Take

  1. Stay Calm:
    • Keeping a level head will help you manage the situation effectively.
  2. Remove Any Remaining Crayon Pieces:
    • Gently remove any pieces of crayon from your child’s mouth to prevent further ingestion.
  3. Check for Choking:
    • Ensure your child is not choking. If they are coughing, gagging, or having trouble breathing, follow choking first aid procedures immediately.
  4. Determine the Amount Consumed:
    • Try to estimate how much of the crayon your child has eaten. This information can be helpful when consulting with medical professionals.
  5. Offer Water:
    • Give your child a small amount of water to help wash down any remaining crayon pieces and reduce irritation in the mouth and throat.

Understanding the Risks

What Are Crayons Made Of?

Most crayons are made from paraffin wax and non-toxic pigments. Crayons from reputable brands are designed to be safe for children and are labeled as non-toxic. However, ingesting large quantities can still cause digestive discomfort.

Potential Symptoms

  • Mild Symptoms: Ingesting a small amount of crayon typically does not cause serious harm and may result in minor symptoms such as stomach upset or a change in stool color.
  • Digestive Issues: Eating a larger amount of crayon can lead to more noticeable digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Call Poison Control

  • Contact your local poison control center for specific advice tailored to your situation. They can provide guidance based on the type and amount of crayon ingested and your child’s age and weight.

Visit a Pediatrician

  • If your child exhibits any signs of distress, such as persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, or an allergic reaction, seek medical attention promptly.

Emergency Situations

  • If your child is choking, has difficulty breathing, or becomes unresponsive, call emergency services immediately.

Preventive Measures

Keep Crayons Out of Reach

  • Store crayons and other small items out of your toddler’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion.

Supervise Playtime

  • Always supervise your child during playtime, especially when using art supplies like crayons.

Educate Caregivers

  • Make sure that anyone caring for your child is aware of the risks and knows to keep potentially harmful items out of reach.

Use Non-Toxic Products

  • Opt for crayons labeled as non-toxic and child-safe. Reputable brands typically follow safety standards to minimize risks.

Home Remedies and Care

Hydration

  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids to help move any ingested crayon through their digestive system.

Observe for Symptoms

  • Monitor your child for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior. Mild digestive symptoms may occur but should pass without severe issues.

Diet

  • Provide a balanced diet with fiber-rich foods to help manage any potential constipation that might result from eating crayon.

Conclusion

While eating a crayon is usually not a cause for major concern due to their non-toxic nature, it can still lead to discomfort and anxiety. By staying calm, removing any remaining crayon pieces, and monitoring your child for symptoms, you can help ensure their safety.

Preventive measures, such as keeping crayons out of reach and supervising playtime, are essential to avoid similar incidents in the future. If you have any doubts or if your child exhibits severe symptoms, contacting poison control or seeking medical advice is always a wise decision.

Stephanie Creek