Sometimes my son leaves marbles around and my baby eats them. We already found 3 in her poo. Is this poison or is this ok?

  • 4
    What material are the marbles made of? How old is your baby?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:18
  • 3
    Please don't answer in comments, folks!
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 17:25

7 Answers 7


Glass marbles are not poisonous, but:

  1. They are often painted, and the paints can have unwanted chemicals (such as lead).
  2. They can get lodged/stuck in digestive tract (less likely) or respiratory tract (more likely), that can lead to lot more complex problems.
  3. Also, as mentioned, can be choking hazard.

As long as they are ordinary glass marbles they are not poisonous, though as Erik mentions they are choking hazards so it's worth teaching your son not to leave them around - or perhaps supervising him more closely if he's not old enough to learn that.

Avoid giving your son any small magnetic toys since those can connect in the gut and cause major problems. Also be sure not to give him any button batteries and be very careful with them yourself as those can cause internal injury very quickly.


Marbles are not poisonous (anything that's made for kids to play with is generally required to be made of safe material) but marbles are a choking hazard, so I would strongly suggest you make sure your baby doesn't swallow any more.


It's not ok. She could choke.

Take away all the marbles until the baby is old enough not to eat them.

And for that matter, hunt for other things that could be dangerous, like small lego pieces, and keep them high out of reach and clean up thoroughly after they've been played with.

Really not worth the risk. Unfortunate for your son that he doesn't get to have marbles at home, so talk to him about it and explain it's just a phase.


The choking hazard is very, very serious. If your older son with the marbles can't alter his behavior and not leave marbles about, you need to take them away from him until the baby is old enough to not eat them, or he is old enough to be more diligent.


No, it is not okay for your child to eat marbles because yes, they can be harmful to her health.

Assuming the marbles are made of glass, they are, by nature, nontoxic. However, if they are painted or made out of any other material, they could potentially contain contaminants from the paint or material that would be hazardous to her health.

The risks of un-painted marbles being swallowed are that she will end up choking, having a partial airway obstruction or a digestive obstruction.

Some things you can do to prevent her eating the marbles:

  1. Keep out of her reach
  2. If your son wishes to play with marbles, allow him a certain amount to be kept in a specific area. Count them before they are put away.
  3. Teach your son to be thorough about picking up the marbles when he is finished with them.
  4. Or as mentioned in one of the other answers, use the bitter liquid used to prevent nail biting.

If she has eaten a marble and you know that she has. Monitor her for breathing difficulties, inability/refusal to eat, difficult bowel movements, abnormally textured bowel movements, abnormally colored bowel movements or vomiting. Also watch for signs of lead poisoning such as hyperactivity, difficulty seeing or hearing, seizures.

If she frequently has respiratory or digestive issues, this should be a sign of trouble. Make a doctor's appointment and let them know that you are concerned she may have ingested a marble. If any of the above symptoms are severe and/or accompany a high fever, pay your local hospital's emergency department a visit.

Also note that since those symptoms can go with normal illnesses, use your best judgment when deciding whether to go to the doctor.

Hope this helps, please comment with an questions or concerns!


You can get bitter-tasting stuff that is intended for putting on nails to stop nail biting. You could put some on the marbles. After she has tried one or two she will probably stop.

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