Are your kids obsessed with slime? Slime is one of the most popular “toys” that kids play with today. But like most toys, it also comes with its fair share of risks. So parents, you have to ask yourself – is slime dangerous?
As fun as it may be to play with store-bought slime or simply make your own slime, the thick and slippery substance could be potentially toxic to your children’s skin and cause health problems.
Is slime dangerous? Borax in slime linked to health problems
Image source: YouTube screengrab
Mum-of-two Gemma Williams from the UK, was horrified to find her daughter’s fingers covered in blisters after making slime at home.
The New York Post reported Layla Fisher, 10, was diagnosed with chemical burns caused by the slime she made using a recipe she found online using only glue, shaving foam and contact lens solution.
Contact lens solution contains trace amounts of borax (sodium borate), also known as borax or boric acid. The chemical is one of the primary ingredients for making slime at home as it’s the stuff that gives the slime its gooeyness. It can also be found in liquid starch and liquid laundry detergent.
While borax is fine in small doses, exposure to excessively high levels of borax has been linked to health problems like irritation, diarrhoea, and vomiting, and could potentially cause birth defects as well as infertility problems.
Thankfully Layla’s all okay now after seeing a doctor and going on medication.
It’s not just in other countries that slime poses a potential health risk to kids. In Singapore, regulatory agency for consumer goods safety Enterprise Singapore found two slime products sold here, Magnetic Putty and Dr Wacko’s Mad Lab Colour Goo, containing unsafe levels of borax and have removed them from shelves.
The agency advises parents to purchase slime from reputable brands and stores, and to check if the product has met safety requirements.
Make your own fluffy borax-free slime
Is slime dangerous? Even if you make slime at home, it can contain dangerous chemical substances that are harmful to the skin. | Source:
The best (and safest) way is to make your own borax-free slime at home with your kids. It’s quick to make and is plenty of fun. You can try this recipe using only shampoo and cornstarch.
- Put 1/2 cup shampoo and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a bowl.
- Mix well.
- Add 3 drops of food colouring (optional – especially if your kid is allergic to colouring).
- Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir. Slowly add 5 more tablespoons of water, stirring well after each one.
- Knead the slime for around 5 minutes.
Keep adding cornstarch into your slime if you find it’s still sticky. Different brands of cornstarch and the level of humidity the air means you may need a little more cornstarch than what we listed here.
For a slightly warm, “volcano slime”, try this:
- Pour 1/4 cup white school glue (check the ingredients!) and a 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a bowl.
- Add 3 drops of food colouring (optional).
- Mix it well.
- Knead it with your hands for 10 minutes.
- Heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds.
- Let it cool, then knead it for another 10 minutes.
Extra tips for aspiring slime creators
- Before you make the slime, cover your table with a dirty tablecloth or oilcloth so it’s easier to clean up later.
- Slime can be a little messy, so it might be wise to play with slime over plastic table mats to protect your furniture. Give it a quick wipe down when your kids are done playing with the slime.
- Because it’s made of glue, Slime becomes harder to clean off the longer you keep playing with it, especially once it starts to dry. Use warm soapy water to bring the slime back to life.
- Don’t forget to ask your kids to wash their hands and avoid touching their mouth when playing with slime.
Source: New York Post
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