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First Aid for Candle Wax Poisoning

Last updated July 9, 2017

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Candle Wax Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake (consumption) of candle wax.


What is Candle Wax Poisoning?

  • Candles are made from wax that come from a variety of sources. These include synthetically-prepared wax, paraffin wax, plant-based wax, and even beeswax
  • Candle Wax Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake (consumption) of candle wax
  • The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)

Candle Wax Poisoning may be also referred to as Candles Poisoning and Candle Wax Toxicity.

What are the Causes of Candle Wax Poisoning?

  • Candle Wax Poisoning is caused by eating or swallowing candles
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm
  • Generally, candle wax is a non-toxic substance; however, certain compounds and synthetic chemicals/colors added to candles may be toxic

Note: The compound can interact with other prescribed or non-prescribed medications in the body. Such interactions may enhance the therapeutic effects of other medications being taken, resulting in undesired side effects.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Candle Wax Poisoning?

The signs and symptoms of Candle Wax Poisoning can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach and abdominal pain
  • Obstruction of the bowel, if significant quantities are consumed

How is First Aid administered for Candle Wax Poisoning?

First Aid tips for Candle Wax Poisoning:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency help number, for emergency assistance
  • Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or your local poison control center) for further instructions
  • Provide them with information such as the compound taken, quantity and time of ingestion, age, weight and general health status of affected individual
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • Clean the mouth to remove any remaining pieces; wipe mouth with a wet cloth
  • Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
  • Take individual to emergency room (ER) for further treatment
  • Always try to take the substance to the ER

Generally, Candle Wax Poisoning is a non-serious condition. With appropriate and adequate home care, the individual may recover completely, without any severe symptoms being noted. 

In case of severe symptoms, emergency health care may be required. The emergency medical professional might perform the following steps towards treating the condition:

  • Monitor vital signs
  • Medically manage symptoms and provide breathing support, if necessary
  • Administer laxatives for elimination of the compound from the body
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line, if necessary

Who should administer First Aid for Candle Wax Poisoning?

First aid for Candle Wax Poisoning is administered by healthcare professionals.

  • The individual who overdosed, or someone near, should call 911 for emergency assistance (or the local emergency number)
  • They should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow instructions

What is the Prognosis of Candle Wax Poisoning?

  • The prognosis of Candle Wax Poisoning is dependent on the amount of substance consumed, time between consumption and treatment, severity of the symptoms, as well as general health status of the patient
  • If the individual can recover from the symptoms, with appropriate medication and early support, the outcome is generally good
  • Candle wax is a non-poisonous substance, and hence, the condition is not very dangerous. In a majority of cases, early recovery is reported

In general, toxicities are common situations in the emergency departments. A majority of the cases are often not fatal, when appropriate treatment is given.

How can Candle Wax Poisoning be Prevented?

Candle Wax Poisoning can be prevented by:

  • Keeping any poisonous/hazardous chemicals and other materials out of children’s reach
  • Being aware of basic first aid steps in case of an emergency (such as inadvertent poisoning)

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) for emergency assistance, if necessary
  • Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow the recommend steps
  • It would be helpful if the following information is readily available:
    • Type and quantity of substance ingested
    • Age and weight of the individual
    • And, the overall health status of the individual

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 9, 2017
Last updated: July 9, 2017