There was a time when my eight-year-old niece was raving about this DIY slime and how to make it, or how she’s been pressing my sister to buy the needed materials. She saw it on YouTube and she told me once she’s excited to make some slime. I asked her what the ingredients were and she replied borax.
Turns out, Kai recently fancies videos about DIY slime. Admittedly, they’re awesome to make and obviously kids enjoy them. And then I thought of making some. I searched on YouTube and there it was — borax. I thought to myself, isn’t borax unsafe for kids? The last time I used borax it was to deal with the ant problem here at home. And I remember there’s that label that says “keep out of reach of children.”
DIY slime containing borax has become a popular project for kids and teens these days.
So is slime containing borax for children safe?
There have been cases where kids suffered from injuries after handling the gooey slime. Reports had been made about blisters on hands, as well as chemical burns.
NYU Langone Medical Center pediatrician Dr. Robin Jacobson told Good Housekeeping that borax is something that children shouldn’t be playing with.
“Borax can cause burns, especially when you touch it multiple times. When you’re mixing it up, Borax can get in the air and irritate your airways. If kids put their hands in their mouths by mistake, it could be toxic.”
American Academy of Pediatrics’ Dr. Kyran Quinlan thinks otherwise. In fact, his kids have joined the craze of DIY slime as well. Quinlan says that borax is only a “mild irritant” and is “generally safe.” Even then, Quinlan advises parents should supervise their kids when playing with borax. It’s important for kids to wear protective gloves and wash their hands after.
Observing precautions is probably the reason why many kids can play slime with borax without problems while some develop skin reactions.
“If you’re using full-strength Borax and not diluting it properly, then it’s going to be irritating to your skin,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rajani Katta, a board-certified dermatologist, said.
Obviously, this product shouldn’t be anywhere near little kids who can just put their hands in their mouths, especially those who are younger than toddlers. Then again, if you want your little one to enjoy some DIY slime without any worries, you can use other recipes to make it safer for your kid to play with.
Here’s one recipe that uses glue and baking soda – perfectly safe. Check out the video.
Do you have other ideas on how to make slime that doesn’t use borax? Let me know in the comments below.
h/t: Good Housekeeping