If your Craft Corner has turned into panic mode because little Picasso has chowed down on a crayon, sucked a Sharpie or generally resembles something from a horror film after a paintbrush in the mouth incident, here’s our quick quide for when to go to A&E and when to just *ahem* chalk it up to experience…
Crayons: most are pretty harmless and tend to just make an appearance at the other end, giving a novelty ‘pebble dash’ effect. The Illinois Poison Center suggests that crayons are ‘a mild laxative’ but beware of pieces that can get stuck and cause choking.
Felt Tips: Crayola or other water based brands are non toxic. Ink itself is poisonous, but you would need to ingest over an ounce to cause any harm.
The World Health Organisation says
Ink: ball-point pens, felt-tip pens, and fountain pens contain so little ink that there is not enough to cause poisoning if it is sucked from a pen. Some inks may cause soreness in the mouth. Large amounts of ink swallowed from a bottle could be irritant, but serious poisoning has not been reported.’
Sharpies/Permanent Markers: Again, Sharpie’s aren’t toxic (They bear the new AP (Approved Product) certification symbol of The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI), but obviously the marks are ‘permanent’. Marks can be removed from skin with rubbing alcohol or neat vinegar… If it’s on the walls try WD40.
A few markers may contain aniline dyestuffs, which, if a large amount is swallowed, can be poisonous.
Chalk: (according to Paediatric Safety) Chalk contains calcium, and swallowing some typically does not cause poisoning. More serious problems can occur if the chalk lodges in the throat or is breathed into the windpipe, blocking the airway and causing coughs, difficulty breathing, or wheezing.
Poster Paint: again, this is normally non-toxic, but don’t use as face paint unless it specifically states it is safe for cosmetic use as it can cause allergic reactions.
Editor’s Tip: We love the super safe, super wipe clean, storable Crayola Doodle Magic Mat…