Eating crayons probably isn't the end of the world.

Are Beeswax Crayons Safe for Toddlers?

by Eliza Martinez

If your toddler or preschooler is like other kids his age, he's probably sampled the flavor of different colored crayons, leaving the evidence next time he uses the bathroom. After frantically calling Poison Control, you might have vowed to rid your home of the evil rainbow of crayons littering your home. Most art supplies marketed for kids won't harm your child if he eats them, but consider beeswax crayons if you still worry.


Traditional crayons are made with a petroleum base, which worries many parents. Though the big name brands are under strict safety regulations and declare themselves "non-toxic," you might feel more comfortable buying beeswax crayons for your little one to nibble when you're not looking. Beeswax crayons are made with wax and liquid soap. You can even make them yourself at home so you really know what your child is eating.

Choosing Crayons

Picking up the random box of beeswax crayons might not be any safer than giving your toddler or preschooler the dreaded petroleum-based version. Anytime you buy art supplies for your child, it's important to read the packaging to ensure the item's safety. Read the labels on beeswax crayons and look for the words, "conforms to ASTM D-4236." This means the manufacturer follows the law regarding checking for health hazards in the product. If the crayons caution against using them for kids of a certain age, find a different option.

Making Beeswax Crayons

If all else fails, making your own beeswax crayons gives your toddler or preschooler something safe to color with, even if he chooses the walls and couch over the nice piece of white paper you put on the table for him. Simply melt beeswax in a double boiler, adding an equal amount of flaked or grated glycerin soap once the beeswax has completely melted. Stir the mixture well and tint it with paste food coloring, which is safe if ingested. Pour the wax into the molds of your choice and allow them to harden. They might not taste that great, but they aren't likely to hurt your little one if he decides to sample the difference between red and green.

Possible Risks

Just like anything else, beeswax crayons might pose a risk to some toddlers or preschoolers. The wax itself isn't poisonous, but eating a large amount of it can lead to an intestinal obstruction, according to Medline Plus. If it doesn't pass through your child's body on its own, medical intervention might be necessary. Ingesting a large amount of soap can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure the soap in the beeswax crayons is non-toxic or your child could face additional health complications.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

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