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Is Borax Safe To Use Around Children?

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Is Borax safe to use around children? My poor kitty has been infested with fleas, as well as my home! I have searched and searched about carpet remedies for fleas and have found a lot on Borax, but with differing results about the use around kids. I have a 4 year old. Is Borax safe to put all over the carpets with him?

Jennifer from Jonesboro, AR

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Chris C.03/26/2014

I don't think I would try using the Borax. I tried using salt in the past, and somehow (even though I vacuumed it up), our cat got a piece of salt in her eye and got an eye ulcer (hole). The vet visits and meds were costly, not to mention the stress to our pet, so I am very careful now about what I use. Bought and used what the vet recommended. So thankful that our kitty's eye healed and had no further issues.

By meileefoo11/22/2013

Why use borax when you have a safer option which is Diatomaceous Earth. It's so much easier for you guys to get it in your country. DE for short is so effective and safe for children and pets, too. People are even consuming it but not sure about that. Please search online about the DE usage. Borax is definitely a no-no when there are children at home especially those below 3 years old who loves to 'taste' things around them. This is just my 2 cents. :D

By roundturning05/15/2013

Fleas carry diseases, pestisides are poison. Borax is safer than those options. Just do it away from pets and children. Salt works great for fleas.

By Linda [6]05/28/2010

Use caution and common sense. It works, but it's also toxic. Not as bad as some pesticides, it dissipates, but don't crawl around in it and lick your fingers! I have fly problems with 3 dogs. I used it around the dog areas, and watered it in. A kennel owner told me about it (borax). It killed fly larva. Flea eggs. But, I sprinkled it lightly. I did not "pour" it on.

By Sara12/11/2009

Borax is not Boric acid. It is the sodium salt of boric acid, or sodium tetraborate. Acid salts do NOT carry the same hazards as their acid counterparts. Their chemical makeup is different. The salt makes the chemical more stable and less likely to dissassociate or break its chemical bonds to form acid and water in chemical reactions.

It does not mean it is totally safe and fine to leave out for pets or children to be exposed to it, but it is not as harmful as boric acid. Likewise, you should contact the manufacturer before mixing Borax with other chemicals that could make the salt more likely to disassociate to acid and water.

Most likely, the skin and respiratory irritation that borax causes is due to the structure of the substance (many sharp edges). Table salt, or sodium chloride, causes irritation by the same method.

I am a scientist, not a doctor, so this is not a medical opinion. I have experience in writing Material Safety Data Sheets and giving product safety advice, so this is what I would say if I was giving this advice to a customer.

By Jennifer Wrinkle [1]04/25/2009

Silliewildflower:
I originally posted this almost a year ago and I'm glad to say we are no longer infested with fleas and I have a very happy cat. I did not use Borax because I felt that there was more negative feedback regarding it's safety around children than positive.

I am a a member of PETA and avid supporter of the American Humane Society.

By sillie04/24/2009

Borax does not chemically harm anything. The reason that borax is used and works is because if you look at it under a microscope, the same way you would look at fleas and the larvae, you will see that it is sharp and it does bodily harm to the fleas and eggs. This is also why it can be used for cleaning as it is a mild abrasive. You can also use toothpaste to clean anything that you do not want to scratch. Borax is about as harmful as toothpaste.

Look at the picture and pretend you are a flea, would you be able to live with millions of these?

Yes, you need to pour it on the carpets, sweep it in and leave it there for as long as possible. If you can bathe your pets, please do so. Most of everything that is mentioned works, you can add some citrus juice to the water if your pet does not have problem skin or open wounds. A mild pet soap will do, but the fleas will die because of drowning, not because pet soap or dish washing liquid will kill them.

You can also place cake pans or any flat containers (members of household permitting) around the house, preferably in corners, with about 1 inch of water and one drop of dish soap. The dish soap is only for the purpose of changing the surface of the water so they can not escape, and they will drown.

Try this at the same time you are experimenting with natural safe ways to rid your home of these pests.

Yes, salt works because of it's composition, it will eventually deplete the eggs of life sustaining moisture. But, if you live in a humid climate, such as Florida, salt it is not recommended, because the salt is soaking up the moisture. Or if you want give it a try, in a few hours your carpets will begin to feel wet, because they are wet!

Don't dump borax on the baby or anything else, even if it is not harmful, for that matter! If you can keep the baby off the floors for a couple of days or you might want to put the borax down before a trip, but it is the only thing that I use and it is the only thing that works that I am sure is not harming my pets or my family.

Good luck and love your pets!

RE: Is Borax Safe To Use Around Children?

By Heidi (Guest Post)12/12/2008

Any cleaner should be kept out of the hands of children whether natural or not. That is just good sense, but that by no means deems it unsafe for use. Here is a link with info on borax.

http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/Product ... p?ProductCode=D1002&Show=ExtInfo

Or you can even go directly to the Dial corporation site and get info on Borax. I happen to use Borax all around my home for many different purposes and, if used as directed, is perfectly safe.

Hope this helps.

By Neko8 (Guest Post)10/02/2008

Borax or Boric acid! Does it sound safe? I learned the hard way. I have been putting Borax down on the carpets for a year now. Recently my older cat is having problems breathing. After $1000 in vet bills and a few weeks she is only slightly better. This is what Wikepedia said.

Simple exposure can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. "In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure." [7]

My advice is Do not use on carpets. I have no idea if my cat will get better, and now my younger cat is coughing. Very serious stuff.

By mulberry204 (Guest Post)06/18/2008

You will have to treat your yard too as the cat will pick up fleas again.
I got invested with them one year & needed an exterminator. It was expensive & I am sure the chemicals were not good for us.


Here is what Wikepedia has to say about borax:
[edit] Toxicity
Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is not acutely toxic. [5] Its LD50 score is tested at 2.66 g/kg in rats. [6] This does not mean that it is safe, merely that a significant dose of the chemical is needed to cause severe symptoms or death. Simple exposure can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may casue gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. "In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure." [7]

A reassessment of boric acid/borax by the United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs found potential developmental toxicity (especially effects on the testes).[8] Boric acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be especially toxic to infants, especially after repeated use because of its slow elimination rate.[9]

By Anna from Maine. (Guest Post)06/17/2008

I do not believe Borax is harmful as they say, I have used it for several years to brush my teeth with. I have had no side effects. Very clean teeth.

By Joan [13]06/17/2008

The best thing I've used to rid my house and dogs of fleas is Lorann Oils - Oil of American Cedar Leaf. Put 3 drops on a 3 inch square of brown paper bag in every corner of EVERY room of your house. Do this every 2 days, next week-do it every 4 days, 3rd week - and through the 'flea season' put the 3 drops on the paper. I put the paper with the oil on it on a shelf, or somewhere that my 6 dogs can't possibly reach. I bought 4 oz. of this oil 6 years ago [think it was about $25], and still have a half bottle left [house has 9 rooms] Make sure you specify Oil of American Cedar LEAF! makes your house like a cedar closet.

By Sheila Hendricks [1]06/17/2008

No, Borax is definitely not safe around children or animals. Which is why the warnings are listed on every box of Borax. It will can make children very ill, it may kill your animals. It's not worth taking a chance. Call your veterinarian for suggestions.

By Lee Anne Guryn [2]06/17/2008

http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/index.cfm?page_id=56 check out the website. I do not think it is dangerous. I used it to kill fleas when my childern were little. Consider its safety relative to the chemicals you could use. You would not sprinkle it then put your baby down to eat it. After you vacuum it is pretty much gone.

By Lee Anne Guryn [2]06/17/2008

http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/index.cfm?page_id=56 check out the website. I do not think it is dangerous. I used it to kill fleas when my childern were little. Consider its safety relative to the chemicals you could use. You would not sprinkle it then put your baby down to eat it. After you vacuum it is pretty much gone.

By SHEILA06/17/2008

Someone was just telling me that they had used Borax just as you said for fleas. They sprinkled it all over their carpet let it set for xxx(?) came back and vacuumed it up. It killed the fleas and evidently the eggs, too. Because they never had another flea bite.

Of course I immediately thought about the warning label, but they were very satisfied w/ the results.

I can't speak as to how safe it is for your child, but maybe a call to the Borax number would be helpful.

Good luck!

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)06/17/2008

When the box says "keep out of the reach of children," it may be because the manufacturer doesnt want children to EAT it.

I would not hesitate to use chemical products to get rid of your fleas. The fleas (imho) are a far worse problem than the chemicals. You cannot have a flea infestation when you have children. Perhaps you will need to hire an exterminator to get rid of them.

BTW, fleas live in grass in your yard so if you leave your pet outside, it will reinfest itself.

Good luck

By Christine Biernat [5]06/17/2008

I was just reading a book yesterday and it said to "Keep out of reach of children, pets and pregnant women and don't use it around food". Sure it is a great cleaning agent, but it is toxic if ingested in any way. I would not suggest using this as a flea control product.

By Keeper [57]06/16/2008

Jennifer,I went and ck.my box of"Borax".On the side in bold letters is"Keep out of reach of Children".It also has an 800 #:1-800-457-8739 Hope this helps
Keeper

Questions

Here are questions related to Is Borax Safe To Use Around Children?.

Question: Is Borax Safe to Use Around Children?

We have a horrible flea problem throughout our house and I have a 1 year old. I don't want to use chemicals and thought about using borax. After I apply it does anyone know if it is OK for my 1 year old to walk on the carpet with borax in it?

She puts things in her mouth all the time. If I apply it and then vacuum it up in a couple days would it still work? We could stay out of the house for a couple days before we go back in. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

By Cindy


Most Recent Answer

By Rachel Barratt08/18/2011

I think borax is toxic. My vets recommend a silcon based flea treatment for the home which is non toxic. It does work as I used it on a flea infestation a couple of years ago. In the UK its called Skoosh. Good Luck.

Rachel

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