The craze for making slime in DIY mode, with recipes taken from social media, is exposing children to high risk. An 11-year-old girl in Massachusetts recently received severe burns to her hands while making slime on her own.
Kathleen Quinn was making the sticky concoction when her skin started turning hot and tingly. She was working with ingredients such as Elmer's glue, water, and borax to make slime.
According to her parents, Kathleen's skin turned bright red. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors said her hands received second- and third-degree burns. The hands are full of blisters, her mother said.
"She was like crying in pain, 'My hands hurt, my hands hurt,'" said Kathleen's mother Siobhan Quinn.
Making homemade slime has become a wild fad, with children turning to YouTube and other social media for tips on do-it-yourself recipes.
"We've seen a variety of slime recipes oozing through cyberspace over the past few weeks," said Newell Brands, the parent company of Elmer's Glue, in a statement.
Liquid Glue Sales Up
According to Newell Brands, the demand for liquid glue has been going up. In the second half of 2016, sales started soaring and by December, sales had more than doubled.
DIY slime comes in many types, such as clear slime, sequin slime, glitter slime, puffy slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, and metallic slime. In most of these gooey concoctions, Elmer's glue is used as the main ingredient.
Borax Mixing Needs Care
Doctors attribute Kathleen's blisters to prolonged exposure to borax. It is a key ingredient and is toxic too. Borax needs to be handled with care and there must be proper dilution.
The schoolgirl is expected to recover fully. But her parents want her condition to be conveyed to people so that other children can stay safe while making slime at home, especially when handling borax.
Kathleen has missed school for a week as her hands are bandaged. Her message to other kids is "don't make it, don't play with it."
A doctor also wanted kids to exercise more caution on what they mix while making slime.
"You just have to really read the packages and know what you're mixing because there are certain things in the home that are just dangerous," said Dr. Megan Hannon, a physician at South Shore Hospital.
Safe Methods Of Making Slime
Parents are now looking for safer methods to make slime and still have fun.
James Diaz, of LSU Public Health, explains that there are ways of making slimy goo without putting children's safety at risk.
The materials required are glue, contact solution, baking soda, and food coloring. Put 4 ounces of glue in a bowl then add half a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of contact lens solution. Mix in the preferred food coloring. After mixing, it will thicken out. It can then be placed on a plate for further kneading until it becomes a stretchy product.
Diaz tells users to be careful about borax. Borax, when mixed with water, turns into boric acid and it can inflict burns. He said the risk must be taken seriously as third-degree burns may worsen into fourth-degree burns warranting a skin graft.