If the child swallowed more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount swallowed, call the Poison Center Hotline immediately at 800-222-1222. The call is free and confidential.
Gel pen, permanent marker, dry erase board marker, highlighter
Ink is minimally toxic. If your child swallowed ink, give them a few sips of water and watch for vomiting and an upset stomach. If they develop these symptoms, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222.
Eating ink can cause skin staining and mild stomach upset.
If your child is not vomiting or does not have an upset stomach, give them a few sips of water. If they develop symptoms, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222.
Inks contain dyes, alcohols, and a chemical called glycol or glycol ether. Glycols and glycol ethers can be toxic in larger amounts, but the quantity in a pen or marker is very small, to the point of being insignificant.
NOTE: Do not attempt to use chemicals or harsh cleaning products to remove ink stains from your child's skin. Harsh scrubbing or cleaning chemicals can harm their skin. The stain will wear off in a few days.
The main issue is usually the cosmetic staining of the skin or tongue, which may last for several days. Ink can also cause mild stomach upset.Computer printer cartridges and stamp-pad inks usually contain a larger amount of ink and/or additional ingredients. If your child swallowed printer ink or stamp-pad ink, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222.
If your child has gotten this substance in his or her eyes, please view our eye exposure information.
Don't hesitate to call the Poison Helpline.