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FDA Warns Parents to Avoid Spray-On Sunscreen for Kids

Posted by copeland on August 12, 2014

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Here in sunny Florida, temperatures can remain high into the fall season. So, if you're planning one last family trip to the beach before the new school season starts or making plans for your annual Labor Day barbecue, you'll want to make sure you and your kids are protected from the sun. To that end, investigators with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Orlando-area personal injury attorneys are warning parents against using spray-on sunscreens, particularly on young children.

Since 2011 the FDA has been conducting an ongoing investigation into the potential hazards of spray-on sunscreens being inhaled by children. Because our lungs don't fully mature until we're in our twenties, children's lungs in particular are more susceptible to developing lung irritations caused by inhaled substances and particles. Though a direct link has not been proven, there's some indication that over time, inhaling chemicals often included in spray-on sunscreens can pose a risk of developing cancer.

Another concern of FDA investigators and other health-centered agencies is the amount of coverage that spray-on sunscreens provide. Some have a wide spray pattern, which means that much of what comes out of the bottle doesn't ultimately land your child's skin, but instead disburses into the air and simply evaporates. Yet, products with very narrow spray patterns also pose a risk, as you can't be sure that the entire surface of the skin is getting adequate coverage. This leaves user susceptible to severe sunburns or even skin cancer.

When it comes to attending summer barbecues, spray-on sunscreen may pose a third risk. Back in 2012, the FDA received reports of five separate incidents in which users of the popular Banana Boat brand spray-on sunscreens had suffered burns after applying the product. One involved a user approaching a grill, anther a lit citronella candle (often used during outdoor parties to repel insects), and a third lighting a cigarette. Those products were recalled, but many on the market to this day contain flammable ingredients.

If you choose to use a spray-on sunscreen, FDA officials recommend that you spray it into your hands, then rub it onto your children's skin to ensure full coverage and reduce the chance of inhalation. Also, check the label for notion of flammable ingredients and always keep your children far away from open flames. If you believe that proper use of a sunscreen product may have contributed to an injury or illness in your family, stop using the product and keep the remainder intact. Get medical attention, then contact Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995.