5 On Your Side

Parents report injuries, sicknesses from DIY slime ingredient

Posted April 6
Updated April 7

Many families are making homemade slime on a regular basis, and many online videos show how easy it is, but the slime craze is leading to many reports of irritated skin, headaches and congestion.

The do-it-yourself slime is easy to make: many recipes involve water and school glue. The concern, though, comes from a third ingredient in many of the mixes: Borax.

Kathleen Quinn, an 11-year-old slime maker, used to make the concoction every day for months. One day, the slime gave her second- and third-degree burns on her hands.

"They were blistered, and, like, it just felt horrible," Quinn said.

Another mom said her daughter experienced a cough, sore throat, stuffy and nose, and headaches for weeks after making slime for weeks. She said the symptoms stopped the day after they quit making slime.

Other parents reported their children experienced rashes.

Borax has been used successfully for decades for cleaning purposes, but it comes with warnings right on the box: If not diluted properly borax can irritate the eyes, nose and skin.

"Just because you have it around, just because it seems to be perfectly safe for those types of applications doesn't mean it should be used in anything else particularly household slime," said Consumer Reports' James Dickerson.

"So, we really don't want young kids, particularly young kids to be exposed to this because it's a potential hazard," Dickerson said.

Another concern for younger children is that they might accidentally eat the slime.

For older children and adults, Consumer Reports says use common sense. Avoid direct contact with your eyes and wash your hands after making and playing with the slime.

Even better, Elmer's Glue has made a recipe for glitter slime that does not include Borax.

If Borax comes into contact with your eyes, be sure to rinse with plenty of water for 15 minutes.

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  • Megan Goodson Apr 6, 3:03 p.m.
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    Ok, but what parent allows their children to USE Borax?! Regardless of how well it makes slime, it's a poison. And kids, why not READ the package before using it?! You read markers to make sure they aren't permanent before you use them to color, why can't you read the package here?

    Not only that, parents that are complaining about this, all that I see are more and more examples of bad parenting. They are parading themselves around as a bad parent by not catching their kids BEFORE they used this stuff...