Like most kids, my 12 year-old daughter got caught up in the latest DIY slime making trend. She loves science and she loves to experiment with making new things so I thought her newest passion was great. She was learning how to make her own slime at home rather than spending her free time watching TV or playing online games. When she gave me the ingredients list to buy, I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled about her handling a few of the ingredients especially borax and laundry detergents. Nonetheless, I allowed her to make slime under my supervision because the ingredients were not safe for kids to handle.
The first slime batch my daughter made turned out pretty good. It was a bit gooey but aside from the loose consistency, I was impressed on how easy it was to make homemade slime. I made sure she wore gloves though simply because I didn't know if she would get skin irritation from handling borax and laundry detergents. When she passed the skin irritation test and after I had watched her make a couple more batches, I felt assured everything was fine. I did tell her to always wash her hands thoroughly after she was done making or playing with her slime. As she's gotten comfortable in making regular slime, she started to experiment with making fluffy and floam slime which is basically slime with added small styrofoam or plastic beads. The ingredients list grew longer and the quantity bigger - gallon size glue, glitter, foam beads, contact solution, shaving cream, and soft clay.
I think it was probably after one month of making and playing with slime that my daughter began to exhibit cold symptoms. She had a sore throat followed by a headache for about 5 days. Soon after that, her cough kicked in which didn't go away by the second week. She had this spasmodic cough that went on for 2 days until I started to suspect it was not an ordinary cough. My daughter has a pretty strong immune system. Whenever she would feel the first sign of a cold coming. I have had success in nipping the cold in the bud so the symptoms didn't manifest any further. She has always recovered quickly from any cold she's had except for this last one. I suspected it was probably the slime she was constantly playing with. I took away all her slime and at the same time, I gave her a natural cough syrup that contains elms bark. Within 2 days, her cough had subsided significantly. All of her cold like symptoms went away within 5 days.
I threw away any slime that was made from borax and laundry detergents. The only ones I allowed her to keep were the ones made from contact lens solution and natural hand soap. She also knows to limit her time playing with the slime to about 5-10 min a day and for the ones that is overly fragrant, she knows to wear a face mask. All the precautions we took have so far prevented her from getting sick. For all parent out there reading this, I hope you take diligent care when your kids make slime at home and to check the ingredients of whatever they are using to ensure they are not toxic with heavy fume or fragrance that may lead to respiratory problems.