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Children love to play, and it will be both fun and vital for their development. They explore the world through crawling, talking, walking, building, singing, and drawing.
When you watch your baby play, you may notice that the toys that catch your child’s attention are usually the simplest ones, like balls, sticks and crayons. Now everyone thinks that expensive learning toys enhance a kid’s learning process and IQ, but there is no evidence to support that claim.
However in that sense, crayons provide all the necessary boost to your child’s imagination.
Starting with a one year old, crayons can be your child’s ideal playtool. Because most of the babies love to draw something with crayons, starting with random scribbling to make doodles.
But are crayons safe?
Crayons are safe for young children to use as long as you are supervising them to make sure they are not biting off parts of the crayon. Crayon parts that are broken off could be swallowed which could easily lead to the child choking.
A one year old would need much closer supervision than a two or three year old but all children develop at different rates. So if your child is constantly trying to swallow things that they shouldn’t then it would be best for you to not let them play with crayons alone.
We always worry about our child’s well being and if we are going to let him or her play with something, it is vitally important to first know whether it is safe.
Whether your child is 1, 2 or 3 years old, you’ll want to know if crayons will pose any risk to your child. However, it is pretty understandable that if crayons are hazardous for your 1 year old, it may not be so for the 2 year olds and 3 year olds.
But if it is safe for 1 year olds, it will be, in all probability, safe for 2 and 3 year olds.
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Crayons As Imaginative Play Starters
Your child can easily see a toy block as a bus and play with it. While it can be funny, this kind of make believe is essential to your child’s development.
Imaginative play starters fuel creativity among children. Moreover, it provides therapeutic value when your child is feeling powerless by giving them the power of freedom.
Much to the parents’ relief, children are born with make believe capabilities and more than 75 percent of children get involved in make believe activities every day.
They say, creativity is just like muscles, the more you use them, the more you’ll develop them.
Crayons are an essential tool for fuelling the imagination because you can draw anything with it.
While all your 1 year old can do with them is drawing random scribbles, the colors inspire creativity. As the children grow, the box of crayons and a blank paper helps in creating pictures that translate into stories. All these can be a major confidence booster for children of 2-3 years of age.
Crayons are made with only two basic materials, Paraffin wax and color pigment. Both of them are considered non toxic.
Although some of the crayons, usually earlier ones, are not food grade, they do not pose any serious poisoning risk even if your child accidentally eats a portion of it.
Most of the newer ones are made of food grade wax and color and hence they are quite safe, even if accidentally consumed in small amounts.
As mentioned earlier though because of their shape and how easily they are broken, crayons can become a choking hazard.
Hazards With Crayons
If your child has accidentally eaten a crayon, don’t panic. There are only two kinds of hazards that can happen with crayons and for both, you’ll need to keep yourself calm.
As the materials used for crayons are non toxic in nature, most of the time you‘ll not need medical attention.
1. Upset Stomach:
The wax content and the pigment both can cause an upset stomach. However, that is nothing serious and it won’t harm your child.
Give your child some water and snacks to reduce the effects and taste.
If your child tries to swallow the whole crayon,or a large part of it, there will be a risk of choking. Children will often try to put anything in their mouth, if it fits, even their toys.
This is the same for crayons.
So make sure your child is not eating the crayons while playing with them.
Crayon Prevention Tips
There is always some degree of risk associated with any small toy like crayons, not only for their material, but also for their size.
Try to follow the below guidelines to keep your child out of harm’s way with crayons.
- Don’t let your child eat or drink while playing with crayons
- Before buying art supplies, check whether they are non-toxic and food grade and only buy them if they are.
- Monitor your child’s activity when he or she is playing with small toys and crayons to avoid any case of choking.
- If your child tends to treat the crayons as snacks and not art supplies, don’t let them play with crayons for some time and then reintroduce it to them.
At What Age Should A Child Start Using Crayons?
Some children start coloring at the age of nine months. If your toddler does not seem interested at that time, wait till they turn 1 year.
However, even after 1 year, if you get them started with crayons and they seem more interested in eating the crayon as a snack than drawing, wait for a couple of months before you let them handle crayons again.
Eventually, like every other child, they will likely start to love their crayons.
What Age Can Babies Use Crayons?
While crayons are considered safe for nearly any age, their uses with age vary. If you are a first time parent, we have a generalized age group guide for you.
Babies below 6 months old are too young to use crayons. At one year of age your child can hold the crayon and do some kind of random scribble.
After one and a half years of age, your toddler will likely try to imitate you if you try to draw something.
At two years old, he or she will be able to sit and draw on her own, although the drawings may have little meaning.
Only at the age of three, children’s creative side usually begins to comes out and by that point they will be able to draw shapes and roughly a human body with some body parts.
There are many good reasons to put crayons in your child’s hand.
It will not only be fun and exciting for them, it will also help in their mental development.
However, always buy crayons that are non-toxic and food grade. And remember to always keep an on them to avoid any kind of choking hazard.