If you have school-age children in your house I am sure you are familiar with the homemade slime craze. Many parents love the idea of making slime and why not? It’s a rare chance for kids to be technology-free, and encourages them to express their creativity by adding different colors or glitter.
Since this activity has become such a popular trend with school-age children there have been stories on social media and television about children suffering injuries or illness as a result of exposure to homemade slime. As a parent, do you need to worry about your child’s health and safety if they engage in making or playing with slime?
Most popular slime recipes found on the internet call for three main basic household ingredients: white school glue, boric acid (borax) and water. In general, playing with slime made with these ingredients is safe, but the following tips can ensure a fun, safe time for everyone.
- It is important to follow the recipe measurements very carefully. Too much borax in your slime can burn the skin.
- An adult should supervise the creation of slime to ensure proper measuring and safe handling of the ingredients.
- It is best for the adult to use gloves while mixing the slime and then wash hands when mixing is complete.
- Powdered borax should be measured by an adult and the dust/spills should be thoroughly wiped up by an adult.
- Slime should never be put in the mouth or swallowed. Children who may be at risk for doing this should not be allowed to play with the slime recipe.
- Use bowls and measuring tools that are separate from those used for food ingredients—disposable tools are best.
- Consider limiting how long children play with slime. There are currently no scientifically studied time periods, but a half an hour every day is a good general guideline.
- Everyone should wash hands with soap and water after touching or playing with slime.
Overall, slime is safe when the recipe ratios are followed correctly and playtime is supervised by an adult. If you or your child develop any health concerns after playing with slime, contact your health care provider.