Slime – Is It Safe And What You Need To Know

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Slime is it safe for my kids

Slime – Is It Safe And What You Need To Know

Unless you’re a parent who has been living under a proverbial internet rock over the last year or so, it’s pretty likely you know about slime. Quite recently slime has gone from gross and much avoided, to the DIY activity that all kids wanted to get involved with. YouTube tutorials and Instagram-famous ‘slimers’ have cemented the trend, and parents are now struggling to catch up.

Some parents are asking the right questions amidst the slime craze: Is slime safe for my kids?

Whether you’re buying it pre-made online or making it yourself, it’s important to be informed about slime. Here are a few things you definitely need to know.

What Is In Slime?

There are lots of different slime recipes floating around out there online, with different ingredients resulting in different kinds of slime. Depending on the texture that the maker is aiming for, slimes can include:

Glue

Hand soap/foaming hand wash

Shaving cream

Lotions/moisturisers

Contact lens solution

Cornstarch

Food colouring

Baking soda

Borax

The Dangers of Borax

The biggest red flag in the ingredients for slime is certainly Borax. In the world of slime, Borax is used as an ‘activator’ in order to get slime ingredients to stretch and bond so it can be handled. Generally used as a household cleaner, Borax is an irritant that – while usually classified as being ‘mild – can cause skin irritations, rashes and even burns when regularly in contact with the skin.

In order to make slime, the ingredients are mixed using spoons and then kneaded, requiring constant handling of the Borax. It isn’t an epidemic, but kids making slimes have been harmed by Borax, including an 11-year-old girl from the United States who suffered second and third-degree burns on her hands after making homemade slime.

Borax-Free Slime Recipes

If you’re not sure about your kids playing around with Borax, you aren’t alone, and there is some good news. As people have become more concerned about the use of Borax in slime recipes, more and more different slime recipes have emerged that do not use Borax as a slime activator.

Instead these recipes make use of contact lens solution, concentrated laundry detergent, baking soda, salt, shampoo, and even psyllium husk (a dietary supplement). If you want to check out these slime recipes, start here. Remember, regardless of what you use to make slimes they can be sticky and very messy, so always supervise and provide a space for your kids to make slime that you don’t mind getting quite messy.

slime is it safe to buy online
When buying online it can be had to know what ingredients are in the slime

Buying Slime Online

If you take a quick look at most of the people selling slimes online, generally on handmade networks like Etsy, you’ll see they are young entrepreneurs often not much older than your own kids. We love to see kids getting out there and having a go at their own business, but if you’re concerned about the ingredients in slime it can be hard to get a guarantee of safety from these sellers.

Ingredient lists are rarely included, as sellers want to safeguard their own slime secrets. However, it certainly seems that for ease the vast majority of sellers are still using Borax as an activator, which can put your kids at risk from irritation and even burns from regular handling of slimes.

What Age Is Safe For Slime?

If you trust your children to always wash their hands thoroughly after handling slimes and to never put slimes (or slime-contaminated hands) in their mouths, they are probably ok to play with slimes. Younger children, particularly toddlers, should never be allowed to handle borax or glue slime as they have a tendency to ‘mouth’ new objects and those slimes are not food friendly. For kids and teenagers, just make sure you’re around to supervise any slime making and playing, keeping an eye out for signs of irritation or misuse.

It is worth noting that slimes can represent a good sensory play opportunity for babies and toddlers. So, if you would like to do some messy play with your little one and like the idea of ‘slime’ textures, we highly recommend checking out these Baby and Toddler Safe Slimes instead.

There is always a need to take a common-sense approach to slimes, whether you’re making them yourself or purchasing them online. It is important to be informed as a parent, but don’t be afraid to embrace the slime trend. It can be a lot of fun to play with, and to make yourself, and is a great chance for parents and kids to connect over a hands-on, real-world activity.

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Katie -

Author

Katie is the Managing Director and Editor of Mums of Brisbane. Most days will find her drinking copious amounts of coffee, cuddling her kids and trying not to step barefoot on lego. Katie lives in Beautiful Brisbane with her husband and four gorgeous children.

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