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Candles poisoning

Definition

Candles are light sources made from wax with a wick in the middle. Candle poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally swallows candle wax.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Beeswax
  • Paraffin wax
  • Synthetic wax
  • Vegetable oil-based wax

Symptoms

Candle wax is considered nonpoisonous, but it may cause intestinal blockage if a large amount is swallowed.

Home Treatment

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to expect at the emergency room

A trip to the emergency room may not be necessary. The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.

A laxative may be given to help the wax move quickly through the gastrointestinal tract and prevent a bowel blockage.

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Because candle wax is considered nonpoisonous, recovery is very likely.

Media

    Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.