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Why You Should Stop Using Spray Sunscreen on Your Kids Right Now


The Texas sun can be brutal, and if you’re a parent, keeping your kids safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays is among your top priorities. Applying sunscreen to squirming children every two hours can be a difficult task, one which was seemingly made easier by the advent of spray-on sunscreen. Well, now an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration has prompted Consumer Reports to urge parents not to use spray-on sunscreen on or near children.

According to Consumer Reports, the FDA began investigating the risks of the chemicals in spray-on sunscreen being inhaled during application in 2011, but has yet to reach a verdict. While the investigation is ongoing, Consumer Reports is urging parents to stop using sunscreen of the spray variety on children until the FDA completes its analysis.

As if the thought of your child inhaling toxic chemicals isn’t scary enough, spray-on sunscreens are flammable if they get too close to an open flame (like a grill) before thoroughly drying.

The American Academy of Dermatologists has issued a similar warning about spray-on sunscreens, saying using them often results in uneven coverage as well as inhalation.

If you’re in a pinch and all you have is spray-on sunscreen, it’s better to use it on your kids rather than leave their skin unprotected, but you should spray it onto your hands and then rub onto your child.

“Never spray sunscreen around or near the face or mouth. Spraying adequate amounts of the sunscreen into your hands and then applying the sunscreen can help avoid the fumes while also ensuring adequate coverage. When applying spray sunscreens on children, be aware of the direction of the wind to avoid inhalation,” The AAD advises.

Tips For Keeping Kids Safe From Sun

When it comes to kids and the sun, the American Academy of Pediatricians to avoid exposing babies under 6 months to the the sun and to dress infants in lightweight long pants and shirts and brimmed hats. A minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF can be applied to small areas, if necessary, the AAP says.

Older children should also wear hats with a brim, sunglasses and clothing with a tight weave to protect against UVA and UVB rays, the AAP says. They should also stay in the shade when possible and limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Children should use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating, the AAP says.

Skin Facts for Life

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