Baby Gear Health & Safety

Are Crayola Crayons Toxic or Dangerous?

Whether it’s a fun activity at daycare or something you’re encouraging your child to do at home, it’s no secret that children and coloring go together like…hot chocolate and marshmallows!

Up until now you may have taken the safety of crayons such as the ones made by Crayola for granted, especially as they’ve been making art supplies for over 100 years.

In a recent article we discovered that Crayola markers are not toxic, but what about their crayons – are they toxic and do they pose any safety concerns for toddlers and older kids?

Fortunately we can confirm that Crayola crayons are non toxic, which means they are safe for babies, toddlers and older children to use.

However, there are still some important things for parents to know, including what exactly are crayons made from, what to do if your little one eats one, and whether they pose a risk to your family dog.

Crayola Crayons Ingredients

Fortunately we don’t need to guess what’s in a Crayola crayon, because the company tell us themselves.

The basic ingredients contained are (1) paraffin wax and (2) color pigment, and this is consistent across all colors, with some modifications in special effects crayons.

If you’re interested in the process, the paraffin wax is melted and mixed with color pigments, the hot wax mixture is then poured into molding machines, and in around 4-7 minutes the crayons cool and become solid. 

Are Crayola Crayons Toxic Or Non Toxic?

Once your child is old enough to start playing with them, you’ll probably have one burning question on your mind, and that’s whether Crayola crayons toxic?

The manufacturers address this concern directly on their website, stating that “all their Crayola (and Silly Putty) products have been evaluated by an independent toxicologist and found to contain no known toxic substances in sufficient quantities to be harmful to the human body”.

They also state that even if their products are ingested or inhaled, they are still not harmful to the human body (more on this later).

You might be interested to know this is similar to Play Doh, which is typically nontoxic and not poisonous (and therefore unlikely to harm your child if eaten in small amounts).

However, one word of caution is that it is possible that your child could have a sensitivity to a particular ingredient in the marker or crayon, just as one could have a sensitivity or allergen to a certain food such as dairy or gluten.

Another thing to keep in mind is that crayons have lead, but the amount of lead is considered safe for a baby toy.

Are Crayola Crayons Vegan?

Many people like to know exactly where a product comes from, with the aim of avoiding anything that is not cruelty-free products or is not vegan-friendly.

Crayola have previously confirmed that they do not test their products on animals, but unfortunately it is not clear whether they use ingredients (or raw materials) that are tested on animals.

Many sources claim Crayola crayons are not vegan friendly, but the truth is this cannot be stated with certainty.

While the company state their range are made from paraffin wax and color pigment, they don’t go into more detail on what the color pigments are made from. 

Many manufacturers use tallow, which is a beef fat, and this is the reason why people claim their produces are most likely non-vegan.

Are Crayola Crayons Toxic If Eaten?

As your little one progresses through their developmental stages and becomes ever more curious, there will come a time when they want to put almost everything in their mouth (except perhaps vegetables which can be very frustrating)!

Unfortunately it’s impossible to stop your toddler from doing some things, so if they have put a Crayola crayon in their mouth and eaten some crayon, you might be wondering if this is dangerous.

As we covered above, Crayola say that all their products have been tested and evaluated by an independent toxicologist and found to contain no known toxic substances in sufficient quantities to be harmful to the human body, even if ingested or inhaled.

So going by this, as long as it’s not a regular occurrence, there’s no need to worry if your child eats a little bit, although clearly it’s not something you want to encourage or allow them to do often.

If your baby does eat a crayon, you should give them some water and a small snack like a puff or a few Cheerios to take the unpleasant taste away and reduce the chances of an upset stomach.

Side Effects of Eating Crayons

As we mentioned above, crayons are usually made from wax and coloring.

These ingredients are non-toxic and therefore in most cases your child will be fine if they’ve eaten some, and will not require medical attention.

However, if your little one does eat a crayon, it may have the following consequences:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Choking – this could be the biggest risk, so it’s advisable to always supervise your child when they are playing with crayons.

Are Crayola Crayons Toxic To Dogs?

Finally, let’s look at what happens if a canine member of your family eats a crayon.

Just like our little ones, our pets can be equally tempted to put most things in their mouth, and a Crayola crayon is no exception.

Fortunately the two ingredients that make up crayons – paraffin wax and color pigment – are unlikely to cause any serious upset to your dog’s digetive system.

However, depending on how much crayon they’ve eaten, you dog may be in slight discomfort and could have some diarrhea, so it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on your dog if they do eat some crayons.

The most serious concern with eating a crayon is likely to be the risk of choking, because a large piece could become stuck in their throat.

For all these reasons we would recommend putting all crayons away and out of reach after play time, so your furry friend isn’t tempted to eat any when you’re not looking.

Related: Deciding What Baby Gear You Really Need – The Complete Guide

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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