Most candles are made of beeswax, paraffin wax or a plant based wax. Additional ingredients include dyes to color the candle and essential oils to add fragrance. There is also a core used to help keep the candle wick stiff and upright. The core has not been made with lead since the 1970’s due to known health and developmental hazards associated with lead. Today most metal-cored wicks use zinc or an alloy of zinc which should not cause any effects.
Commonly children have easy access to birthday candles and take a bite from the small candle. When children have access to larger candles, they are either using their fingers to scratch off pieces of the wax to taste, or sometimes they take a bite directly from it. If enough candle wax is swallowed, it can result in minor upset stomach or a loose stool.
If you find your child eating candle wax, do not panic. Take the candle away from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. If problems start or you have questions, call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions