I’m writing this to let you know our experience with homemade slime. I am not a doctor or a scientist or a chemist. I just don’t want what happened to my daughter to happen to anyone else.
If you have elementary age kids, you are probably familiar with the current slime obsession. My daughter and her friends became obsessed with it a few months ago and couldn’t get enough of it. So much so that they decided they would start making it themselves at home, a simple endeavor providing you have the right ingredients.
Basically, homemade slime consists of:
Food Coloring (optional)
You might have also heard how stores can’t even keep enough glue in stock. True story… we had a horrible time finding Elmer’s Glue at our local Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Target.
There are variations of the above for sure, but these ingredients are what my daughter and her friends were using to create their slime.
We are a pretty healthy family. We get our flu shots each year and my kids have never had strep or flu or bronchial illnesses. They have never had more than your basic cold that lasted a few days. When my 12 year old got sick, we thought it was the same basic cold. Symptoms were the same: cough, sore throat, stuffy nose. She was also complaining about headaches and general achiness. Assuming her symptoms would be relieved in a few days, we didn’t pay them much mind. Unfortunately, they didn’t go away. At all. Weeks later, we were still left wondering what on earth was going on. To the doctor we went. We had her take a throat culture, check her lungs, and ears and sinuses. She found nothing. Other than your basic cold symptoms, there wasn’t anything wrong with her on the surface.
You know how as a parent you just kind of the get the feeling that there is more to something than meets the eye? My husband was actually the one who connected the dots. He told me one night, “Do you think it could have something to do with the slime she’s been making?”
It was like a lightbulb went off. It kind of made sense all of a sudden. From that moment, we banned her from making, holding, touching or even looking at that darn slime.
The very next day, her headache went away. Her throat didn’t hurt anymore. She still had some congestion, but wasn’t coughing. Two days later, the congestion started going away. She was breathing better and talking better. No more achiness.
What the what??? Could the homemade slime have been poisoning my daughter?
Then this article started to make it around on some of my friends’ Facebook feeds: Schoolyard Slime Craze Risk to Children Says Experts.
So I started to investigate a little more about what on earth my child was getting into. What I found out was disturbing.
BORAX – From the website, CQ Concepts:
Boric acid, sodium borate, and sodium perborate are estimated to have a fatal dose from 0.1 to 0.5g/kg. These substances are toxic to all cells, and have a slow excretion rate through the kidneys. Kidney toxicity is the greatest, with liver fatty degeneration, cerebral edema, and gastroenteritis. Boric acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be especially toxic to infants, especially after repeated use due to its slow elimination rate.
GLUE – From the website, Mediline Plus:
Symptoms of breathing in (“sniffing”) glue fumes may include:
- Convulsions (from breathing in large amounts)
- Drunk, dazed, or dizzy appearance
- Loss of appetite
- Red, runny nose
- Low oxygen level in the blood and organs (respiratory failure)
SHAVING CREAM – From the website, How Stuff Works:
Propolene glycol is a humectant like glycerin, but unlike glycerin, it’s more frequently found in antifreeze and brake fluid. Triethanolamine, better known as TEA, is an emulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil and water from separating. It’s also a very controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry because not only is it a skin irritant, but many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) are two more controversial skincare ingredients. These make a great lather, but they also have a number of health implications. Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane.
Toxic. Respiratory Failure. Seizures. Cancer. Coma.
No thank you! Can I ever be 100% sure that the homemade slime ingredients were causing my daughter’s illness? Probably not. But… one thing I’ve learned in 17 years of parenting is never to ignore your gut instinct… and ours said that making slime was hurting our kid.
All I can say is please be informed. What seemed so innocent turned out to be full of ingredients that are deadly. So even though these ingredients might have really had nothing to do with Lauryn being sick, the fact remains that these ingredients are dangerous and have no business being in the hands of children. Or anyone.
Have you had experience with similar symptoms? Would love to hear if this has happened to anyone else.