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Markers and Ink

Low Risk

Also known as:

Crayola® Expo® Dry Eraser Marker gel pen metallic marker ball point pen permanent marker Sharpie®

Possible Symptoms
  • Minor stomach upset
  • nausea and vomiting
What to Do
  1. Wipe or rinse out the mouth.
  2. Give a serving size of water to drink.
  3. Rinse any exposed skin with lukewarm water and soap.
  4. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.


If the exposure involves tattoo ink, a printer ink cartridge, or fountain pen ink, there may be additional ingredients that can cause more symptoms. If this occurs call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for proper treatment advice.

Additional Information

Note: If your child has gotten ink into their eyes, call the Missouri Poison Center now for help on how to rinse the eyes.

This information applies to markers which include highlighters, dry erase, washable, and permanent markers, and also includes inks found in ball point pens and gel pens.

Common calls to the poison center regarding inks involve the school aged child chewing on a pen with reports of it “exploding” in the mouth or a young child chewing on a marker.

When ink from a pen or a marker mixes with the saliva it may look like a large amount is in the mouth, but in reality, there is only a small amount of ink available. Inks can be mildly irritating to the mouth and stomach, and rarely causes limited vomiting.

If your child has been chewing on a pen or marker, take it away from them and give them a drink of water and wash their hands and face. Eating a small snack can help to decrease the possibility of getting an upset stomach.

If the situation involves an exposure to tattoo ink, printer cartridge ink, or fountain pen ink there may be additional ingredients present that can cause more symptoms. Play it safe and immediately 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, too.

Take The Missouri Poison Center With You

Emergencies don’t wait for you, so you shouldn’t have to wait to call for help. Get the Missouri Poison Center app with poison information and a link to the Poison Help Line. It is just a click away during the most stressful moments. Our registered nurses and pharmacists are here 24/7/365 days a year to help guide you through poison exposures and overdose emergencies.

Don’t wait. Download now.

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