Homemade ‘Slime’ Gave This Girl Third-Degree Burns

Science can be dangerous.

You’ve probably seen the articles about how to make homemade “slime”—that ooey, gooey stuff that’s so much fun to play with (and easy to create). Well, it might be fun, but it can also be dangerous. One Massachusetts girl learned this the hard way after the slime gave her third-degree burns.

Eleven-year-old Kathleen helped make a batch of the slime while at a sleepover and everything seemed fine, but she woke up in excruciating pain. According to her mother Siobhan, Kathleen was crying with pain by the time she got home from the sleepover.

“She was like crying in pain, ‘My hands hurt, my hands hurt,'” Siobhan told CBS Philly in an interview. “And we looked at them and they were covered in blisters.”

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Siobhan rushed her daughter to the hospital, by which point her hands were covered in blisters. The doctors diagnosed her with second- and third-degree burns, but what in the slime could have caused them?

Well, the three main ingredients in the slime are water, Elmer’s Glue and the cleaning ingredient Borax. Borax, a sodium borate, is a strong chemical and should not be handled extensively. The hospital believes that Kathleen’s burns are as a result of “extended exposure” to the borax.

“It felt, like, really hot and tingly,” Kathleen told KTRE. Though she is healing, she had to miss an entire week of school and is currently sleeping with her hands in splints.

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Siobhan wants other parents to know that homemade slime can be dangerous, despite its widespread popularity. Kathleen has made slime on a number of occasions without issue—but parents need to be aware of the dangers of using Borax.

“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,” Dr. Megan Hannon told Fox 59.

Especially with harsh cleaning chemicals, parents need to be wary of skin irritation and traditional safety measures. It might be a fun activity to do at home, but it’s still a science experiment.

“I’ve had other mothers say, ‘Oh, we’ve made it a million times. It’s fine. Nothing happened to my child.’ We made it a million times, too,” Siobhan said.