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The Pros And Cons Of Super Glue

By Expert Author: Mark Pendown

There has long been a debate among parents, teachers, doctors and carers over whether children should be allowed to use super-glue. It has often been used in arts and crafts classes, where children are encouraged to be creative and let their imaginations run wild – and super-glue has aided many in doing so. From making musical instruments, to puppets, to model aeroplanes – super-glue has successfully been entertaining children for decades. This article will highlight the main causes of concern, and the realities behind the use of super-glue.

Hazardous to Health

First of all, it needs to be said, super-glue is non-toxic. Therefore, it does not present any danger to you or your child’s health if used as instructed. If your child gets glue on their arm or leg, it can be left for a couple of days until it peels off. However, glue vapours have been reported to irritate the eyes, skin and, in some cases, the mucous membranes. If you’re worried about this, it is worth exposing your child to super-glue at home first – this will confirm if your son or daughter has a particular sensitivity to this adhesive. If so, there is always the option of protective glasses? Or inform the teacher/assistants and suggest that the craft sessions take place in a well ventilated area. In some extreme cases, the fumes from super-glue have been known to trigger asthma. As suggested above, try this at home to confirm. If symptoms do occur, remove to fresh air immediately. Reports of irritation and asthma are rare, and so this should not discourage you.

Instant Bonder

More common than not – we often hear stories of teenagers who have woken up with a variety of objects stuck to their face, or a child who has glued their finger up their nose. There is no denying that these do happen. Still, they are seldom as horrific as the tales we encounter and in most cases a simple solution is available! If skin becomes bonded, it can usually be cured through soaking the area with warm, soapy water. If the bond is relentless, adding vinegar or using nail vanish remover usually does the trick. It may not necessarily remove the glue, but it will soften it – gentle rotating motions with help release the effect and will avoid unnecessary skin damage. If the glue gets in the mouth or nose it will not be swallowed, as it is an instant bonder and hardens almost immediately. However, medical attention should be sought. If super-glue enters the eye; wash immediately with warm water and continue doing so for roughly fifteen minutes. Again, medical attention should be sought immediately. These are worst-case scenarios and can be prevented through simple safety precautions. Always aim tube away from face and eyes; demonstrate this to your children on a few occasions and supervise them as they practice. It is also a good idea to demonstrate spreading the glue with the nozzle and not your fingers!!

Accidents do happen, and there is always risks in letting your children do anything – and super-glue is no exception. Adhesive suppliers often post warningson labels, but this is a standard procedure with most adhesives due to their strong bonding capabilities. It is personal preference whether you allow your child to use super-glue. If proper safety measures are taken, and your child is supervised while using the adhesive, accidents will be minimal. However, it is advised that you demonstrate how to use the glue before handing it over!!


Mark Long is an experienced freelance with an in-depth knowledge of the adhesive industry. He has thoroughly researched the safety and application of instant adhesives such as super glue and is currently a technical advisor to an adhesive supplier.

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