The Best Crayons For Toddlers
Are Crayons Safe for Toddlers?
Toddlers are known to exhibit some strange behavior including their own language, specific likes, and dislikes that baffle all of us. One of the most bizarre behaviors of a toddler is eating anything and everything they can get their hands on.
While most children’s’ items are marketed as safe for kids, it is not uncommon for us to ask are crayons safe for toddlers?
Toxicity in Crayons
What gets many parents worried is the fact that crayons are made of a petroleum base. Most children’s products manufacturers have to comply with strict regulations to ensure that they are safe. However, while traditional crayons were made of a petroleum base modern crayons are increasingly made of liquid soap, and beeswax which are safer.
What is the danger if crayons are ingested?
According to the Illinois Poison Center, crayons are made mainly of pigments and wax, which makes them minimally toxic. As such, when crayons are ingested they will, for the most part, be a mild laxative due to the petroleum base. The bigger problem for the toddler may be if the child ingests a big piece that could be a choking hazard.
According to Medline Plus, the wax in crayons is not poisonous but if the toddler consumes large amounts of it, it may result in intestinal obstruction. If the obstruction is severe, you may need to seek medical intervention for the toddler. Research has also shown that soap and petroleum in the crayons may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen that has been known as a risk for developing breathing problems and cancer if ingested or inhaled. While the compound was discontinued in many products it is still present in many products including some crayons. According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), many brands of crayons still contain the toxic chemical. This could be dangerous for toddlers who may inhale crayon shavings. A child who is exposed to the carcinogen is up to 3.5 times at risk of developing mesothelioma, a lung disease associated with exposure to asbestos. Other health complications associated with asbestos include respiratory conditions and cancer.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no level of asbestos exposure may be deemed safe. Even exposure for a few days significantly increases the risk of developing associated diseases. As such, you need to keep any crayons with asbestos away from the child.
What are the Best Crayons for Toddlers?
The best and safest crayons for your toddler are those made of waxes since these do not contain any toxins such as petroleum, soap or asbestos. The child will not be at risk of developing any conditions or of being poisoned when they ingest these types of crayons. These crayons are typically made of:
- Carnauba Wax – It is a hard and brittle type of wax derived from Brazilian palm tree leaves. Crayons made of carnauba are usually safe for toddlers though it is still important to ensure the child does not bite off huge chunks.
- Beeswax – Made from the natural honeycombs made by bees, they make great smelling crayons that are all natural and safe for your toddler.
- Soy wax – One of the softest wax out there. It is derived from soybeans and hence is natural and nontoxic. You also do not have to worry about choking or intestinal obstruction given how soft it is.
Once the child grows older and is no longer eating anything they come across, you can reintroduce petroleum-based crayons which typically perform better. Petroleum-based crayons will be great for the child, especially if you want to develop their inner Picasso
How to Minimize Risk of Toxic Crayons
The following are some of the ways to reduce or minimize the risk of harm to your toddler when using crayons:
- Make your own crayons at home using melted carnauba wax and food coloring
- Give the child colored pencils rather than crayons
- Instruct the child not to eat crayons
- Look for brands that conform to the ASTM D-4236 standards for health and safety
- Only buy crayons that are made from all natural materials that do not contain asbestos
- Discourage heavy scrawling which may cause breaking off of crayons which may then be ingested