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A Warning About the Dangers of Homemade Slime

A mother whose 12-year-old daughter became very ill after making and playing with homemade "slime" is warning other parents about the dangers of this popular kids activity.

Carolyn West, a stay-at-home mom who blogs at "This Talk Ain't Cheap," wrote that she doesn't want what happened to her daughter Lauryn to happen to anyone else. She explained that her daughter and her friends became "obsessed" with slime a few months ago and started mixing up batches of it at home. Shortly thereafter, her daughter began to experience health problems:

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.

West, who admits she's not a chemist, doctor, or scientist, said she felt like something more was going on. "You know how as a parent you just kind of the get the feeling that there is more to something than meets the eye?" she wrote. "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?'"Suddenly, it began to make sense. "We banned her from making, holding, touching or even looking at that darn slime."

Suddenly, it began to make sense. "We banned her from making, holding, touching or even looking at that darn slime."

The very next day, West said, her daughter's headache and sore throat went away. Two days later the congestion started clearing up and she was breathing and talking better, with no more achiness.

After doing some research, West discovered that school and health experts in the European Union have been warning about the dangers of homemade slime because of one of the main ingredients, borax.

She went on to list the ingredients in the slime her daughter had been making—glue, borax, and shaving cream—along with some of the health hazards that can be associated with those ingredients.