Which Deicers Are Safe For Children and Pets?
Why Are Some Deicers Considered Unsafe?
The most common deicers are made of coarse sodium chloride (salt) granules that are coated in liquid chlorides, dyes, and sometimes urea. The liquid additives are added to boost performance and help the salt work better at lower temperatures. Dyes are added to absorb UV rays to speed up melting and make it easier to see where you have already used ice melt.
The combination of highly saturated chlorides and fast leaching additives can be harmful to concrete, metal, landscaping, and soft tissues (like skin, paws, mouths, and digestive systems). Curious children and pets can be attracted by the salty taste and the dyed color, and want to taste or play with ice melt. Let’s take a closer look at some of these safety concerns.
Extreme Cold on Skin and Paws
First we need to acknowledge that some ice melt safety concerns are really the result of the extreme temperatures at play. Deicers work by reducing the freezing point of water. Calcium chloride (a common deicing additive) for example, can lower water’s freezing point to around -25° F. That means sensitive paws walking through ice melt brine can be hurt by getting soaked in super chilled water well below its normal freezing temperature.
Other Deicers on Skin and Paws
As was mentioned above, highly saturated chlorides can be harsh on soft tissues. Deicing products with liquid additives quickly leach out super concentrated chlorides and this concern increases with the more ice melt you use.
Other Deicers and Ingestion
For most deicers, the main ingredients are chloride salts. All animals (including curious children) crave salt to some degree, and our bodies naturally regulate our salt intake. When we need it, we crave it...when we have had too much, a thirst response is triggered to balance things out. Click here to see the advice Poison Control recommends for children, pets, and deicers.
How Is Ice Slicer Nature’s Blend Different?
Nature’s Blend is pure, unprocessed, ancient sea salt...nothing added, nothing removed. Ice Slicer deicing salt is mined from the exact same Jurassic Era mineral salt deposit as our delicious food grade Redmond Real Salt. Our harvested salt is sifted to separate fine and coarse granules, so your dinner table can enjoy a shake of delicate mineral salt and your driveway can benefit from long lasting, coarse grains that reduce slips and falls.
60+ Mineral Buffers
As Nature’s Blend melts ice and dissolves into brine, its natural ingredients begin to leach out. For an ordinary deicer, this would mean highly concentrated chlorides. For Nature’s Blend however, a mix of over 60 different naturally occurring minerals are leaching out with the balance of chloride salts. These minerals give Ice Slicer products their signature reddish color that eliminates the need for any added dyes. The minerals also act as a beneficial buffer for not only your concrete and your landscaping, but for you, your children, and your pets as well.
Nature’s Blend on Skin and Paws
Nature’s Blend is OMRI-certified organic and does not contain the harmful liquid chloride additives or dyes of other deicers. That said, there are some things to know about Nature’s Blend and skin/paw health.
Let’s use the example of a day at the beach. After spending a day exposed to salt and sand at the beach, taking a shower is usually 1 of the first things you want when you get home. If left on skin tissue constantly with no rinsing, any salt can cause dryness and some irritation. Just like you take a shower after the beach, a simple rinse easily removes salt deposits from your skin and your pets paws.
As mentioned above, Nature’s Blend contains rougher grains than you find in your salt shaker to give your feet more traction. Walking on any type of rough sand for long periods of time can make paws tender and sore, especially when you add extremely cold temperatures. Any pet owner who lives in snowy conditions should have a supply of paw balm or pet booties if their animals are going to spend time outside during the winter. These booties will also protect paws from tissue damage from the extreme cold.
Nature’s Blend and Ingestion
Since Ice Slicer Nature’s Blend is completely natural and nutritious mineral salt, it is perfectly safe to taste. It is important to remember that eating too much salt can dehydrate you and cause some stomach upset, so you will still need to supervise children and pets. Drinking water after eating anything salty is always a good idea.
We are proud to offer a high performance deicing product that does not contain any harsh additives or chemicals. Click here to learn more about how Nature's Blend can help your family have a safe winter season.