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Parents Alert: Don't Spray Sunscreens On Children For Now-Per Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports recently issued a report warning adults not to spray sunscreens on kids until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes its study on spray sunscreens and their effects on children.  *Source: www.consumerreports.org (Don't spray sunscreens on kids, at least for now)

Consumer Reports is a magazine that publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on its in-house testing laboratory and survey research center.

According to the report, the FDA announced in 2011 that it was going to study the spray sunscreens and whether they are harmful when inhaled by children.  The results are not yet known.  The magazine is advising parents to stop using spray sunscreens at least for now.  The concern is that when inhaled, children are at risk of asthma or allergy attacks.

Any parent knows that when applying sunscreen, even the non-spray ones, children often wiggle, move around and talk.  It is difficult for children not to breathe or inhale the spray inadvertently.  As a parent, I used the spray sunscreens on my children prior to reading this report, and know that my children and myself even, have inhaled the mist accidentally and gone into cough attacks.

The magazine goes on to tell parents that if they do use the spray sunscreens, they should follow these guidelines:

  • If there are no other sunscreen lotions available, spray the sunscreen onto hands and rub it on children. 
  • Adults can still use the sunscreen sprays, but do not spray onto the face.  Adults should also spray the sunscreen onto hands and rub it in. 

Though this report has been shared with the public by many news media outlets, many parents may not know about this report.  Personally, I know that parents don't know about the report after spending an afternoon at the pool over the weekend.  I saw many parents using the spray sunscreens on their children.

What You Can Do

Share this article with your friends and family who have children. 

Many kids attend summer day camps or overnight camps.  Kids are often required to bring sunscreens with them to keep at camp so they can reapply sunscreen throughout the day.  For younger kids, the counselors apply the sunscreens.  Make sure that you switch out the spray sunscreen you let your children take to camp.

In addition, call the camps and alert them of this report.  Ask the camps to send a notice to all parents regarding this report.  Also ask the camps to instruct the counselors on how to apply spray sunscreens on children.  As with most camps, kids are in one room while the counselors apply sunscreens.  Make sure that counselors are spraying the sunscreens away from other children if they are spraying onto their hands.

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