As a teacher, I can tell you that every year there are one or two new toys or gadgets that take schools across the country by storm. Whatever they may be, they usually end up driving teachers bonkers because their students want to play with it in class and it distracts everyone from staying focused and on task.
This year it is fidget spinners and slime. Now, I admit, fidget spinners are pretty cool. My son even came home from Pre-K with one they had made in class out of paper and a metal grommet. There are all sorts of colors and some of them glow in the dark or light up when spun.
Slime, on the other hand, is not so cool. And that is because of the recipe. The ingredients for slime are potentially dangerous to kids, especially the ones that call for boric acid or laundry detergent. If you saw my post from January, we learned first-hand how dangerous laundry detergent can be. And recently in the news there was a girl who gave herself third degree burns making batches and batches of slime to sell to her friends.
Laundry detergent is alkaline. It can burn the skin, just as acid does. If it gets ingested, seek medical attention immediately. You can call the U.S. Poison Control number, which is 1-800-222-1222 for more information.
Boric acid (also called sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate) is used in making soap and added to the laundry to boost your laundry detergent. When used to make soap, remember that it is combined with other products and, therefore, you are not using it at full strength. But we all know how soap stings when it gets in our eyes. It can be irritating to the skin to the skin and if the powder is inhaled by children, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or worse. (For more information – you can check out the report on Borax at U.S. National Library of Medicine.
If your child really wants to make slime, you can find plenty of safer alternatives to boric acid or laundry detergent on the internet, like cornstarch or Metamucil, both of which are derived from plants. Cornstarch is a natural thickening agent and is also found in Metamucil.