Crafting with your kids? Tips for parents

If you ask an average three-year-old what makes slime a good slime, you might expect the response to include words like gooey, sticky, slimy and stretchy. Extra points might be awarded if an older sister considers the slime “totally gross.”

But the best slime is free from boric acid. Although it's found in many products and occurs naturally, Health Canada is advising Canadians to take steps to avoid overexposure. One effective way to do this is by not using the substance for kids' arts and crafts projects, such as homemade slime or playdough/modelling clay.

Boric acid, sometimes called boron or borax, is found in the environment naturally. We're exposed to the substance through food like fruit, vegetables and drinking water.

We can also be exposed to it through common household products like pesticides, cleaning products, cosmetics, and swimming pool and spa chemicals. Small levels of boric acid may also be found in drugs and natural health products.

Since we're already exposed to boric acid naturally, Health Canada is advising that exposure from other sources should be reduced as much as possible, especially for children and pregnant women. This is because it has been found that overexposure to the substance may cause developmental and reproductive health effects.

Fortunately, there are lots of great boric acid-free recipes out there. Consider sitting down with your child to research a few options.