Mom Warns About Aerosol Sunscreen

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If you have kids and there is an aerosol sunscreen in your house, please throw it away. What kids are going through after having it applied is too awful to risk it.

Aerosol Sunscreen

In today’s world, there are plenty of dangers to go around for kids. Most parents are so careful to do everything right. Unfortunately, even when they do their best, bad things can happen. One little boy’s feet melted playing at a splash pad, while his poor Dad stood right there and missed the danger. Then there was the Mom who took her daughter for allergy testing and something heartbreaking happened.

We will always do our best to share when something happens to a child that we think might help parents keep their children a little safer and healthier.

Do Not Use Aerosol Sunscreen On Children
photo via Rebecca Cannon Facebook

Sounding the Alarm On Aerosol Sunscreen

Rebecca Cannon and her 14-month-old daughter were visiting Rebecca’s sister in Canada according to Today. The weather was nice and they decided to get outside and enjoy it.

When she searched for the sunscreen she usually uses on her little girl, she realized she didn’t have it. She asked her sister if she had any sunscreen for kids.

She was given a Banana Boat spray for kids. The product claimed to be alcohol-free, tear-free, and sting-free, with a 50+SPF. It also declared the product safe for kids over 6 months.

Everything checked out. I would have trusted it because of all those things written right on the can.

Before you ask, this Mom did not spray it directly on her child’s face. She knew better than that, but even if she hadn’t, the directions warned adults should spray it into their own hands before putting it on a child’s face.

That’s exactly what Rebecca did, and again, I would have done the same thing. Finally, she put a hat on her baby girl and off they went. I would have thought that was about as safe as she could have been, other than staying in the house.

The Harrowing Visit to the ER

A few hours later Mom began to notice a rash creep across her little one’s face. She was concerned, but not so much so that she felt a trip to the ER was warranted.

The next morning, however, she scooped up her daughter and rushed to the Emergency Room. Where a rash had been, there was now severe swelling and blistering.

The ER doc told her that her daughter’s face was covered in 2nd-degree burns! Rebecca couldn’t figure out what happened. She’d protected her daughter from the sun, so how in the world did she get so badly burned?

The cream she got from the doctor made it even worse, and so she was immediately referred to a dermatologist. That’s where they began to put the pieces together. Her daughter was suffering from a caustic burn caused by the sunscreen.

Yes, She Got Caustic Burns from Aerosol Sunscreen

I’ll be honest. I had to look up what a caustic burn was. Now I know that it’s a chemical burn that can affect both your skin and internal organs.

Here are some of the chemicals that can cause caustic burns, according to Healthline.

Car battery acid
Denture cleaners
Teeth whitening products
Pool chlorination products

You should also know that Consumer Reports said to stay away from spray sunscreen for kids for now. I don’t know about you, but I believe I’ll follow that advice. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

Do Not Use Aerosol Sunscreen On Children
photo via Rebecca Cannon Facebook

What to Do Next

I strongly encourage you to visit the EWG’s guide to sunscreen for children. (The EWG AKA Environmental Working Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

“EWG provides information on sunscreen products from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate both efficacy and the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product – not the product itself – compared to other sunscreens. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any.”

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54 comments on “Mom Warns About Aerosol Sunscreen”

  1. Avatar photo
    Libby Danielowich

    So what did you use on the rest of her exposed skin since only the face got chemical burned. You said you didnt have any other sunscreen for children with you.

    1. If you do research your face is more sensitive then the rest of the body so it very well may have only affected her face even if it was applied all over

  2. A child with light skin, blue eyes and red hair?  The parent should know that that child is prone to sun burn and should be protected to the 10th degree!  That was one of the first things I learned about my son even though he only had the blue eyes and blond hair.  Wear a hat for gosh sakes and don’t stay in the sun for so gosh darn long.

    1. If you ready the description instead of jumping to conclusions you would know she put on sunscreen the burn was from the chemicals in the sunscreen labeled “safe” for kids.

  3. I am so sorry for the mama and baby girl mother thought she was protecting her baby and this awful thing happened I pray it does not scar her face thank you thank you for telling everyone about these sprays I never in a million years would have guessed this is possible God Bless you both thank Hod she is getting better

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I used this product on my 3.5 year old 2 years ago and he immediately got red runny eyes. I was surprised because of how the packaging made it seem completely okay. I thought maybe my son had very sensitive skin but now I know better, thank u again.

  5. Most lotion sunscreens have the same ingredients. That’s why there are ingredient labels. Full of chemicals. Make your own.
    “Everything checked out. I would have trusted it because of all those things written right on the can.” You probably trust “All Natural” on food packaging too!

    1. If they have any kind of chemicals it is required to be labeled on the bottle especially when it’s labeled for kids

    2. She’s saying everything labeled was labeled as safe if that’s the case and they didn’t label the side effects or chemicals that could cause harm that’s not the Mother’s fault she was trying to do the right thing by protecting her baby. The people making these types of comments are clearly ignorant. Do you know how many baby swings and formula had been recalled that were “safe”?  If you were a parent you wouldn’t even make comments like that so please don’t put your input in and act like you are perfect and have never messed up you obviously have no idea how hard parenting is. She is trying to warn people about this because a lot of parents would make this mistake and she wants to avoid someone else’s child going through this if she can.

  6. Next time take your child in for allergy tests. I haven’t seen stores taking it off shelves. Parents need to be more careful

  7. Did the baby have a bath in between noticing the rash and the next morning?? I’m confused. I think that after noticing a rash I would have done a wipe or something. Just to make sure it wasn’t the sunscreen. She was worried about the sunscreen in the first place. I don’t know. I’m hope the message your trying to get out makes it to the right people.  

  8. Avatar photo
    Denise M. Harris

    My son was ADHD as a child and we discovered any sunscreen exacerbated his activity levels. We stopped using all sunscreens on him, and used it sparingly on myself and my daughters. Last year we finally discovered a 100% natural sunscreen with Young Living. SPF10 or SPF 50. No chemicals or nano-particles, it is zinc oxide based and easy to use. I’m so happy we found a safe sunscreen!

  9. (not passing judgement, I use aerosol too…but won’t anymore, thank you for the info. Glad your little one is healing.)
    My pediatrician always says, “The best sunscreen? A blanket.”

  10. To Rebecca, and her infant
    First thing to know, aerosol or not, you are applying man made chemicals to virgin tissue ! That’s the first place to stop !!! And secondly the article reads ,” a few hours later”. Not sure what a few hours are, but unless i you were in total shade, I’d reconsider what you were thinking!! That’s a long time for any fare skin to be exposed. Rash ?? first sign of allergic reaction… Lastly, thank goodness you learned the word caustic,, any man made chemical can assault the human tissue.. Go back to mother nature for you and your daughter, coconut virgin oil, one ingredient. ( coconut oiL) is only one,,, there are many options , and cos nothing more… Your lack of knowledge, is your worst enemy !! Good luck !!

    the f

    1. Seriously? Have you ever considered how harmful mom-shaming is? Unless you have never before made a mistake (which I would imagine that you learned from), you would be better off keeping these types of comments to yourself. I’ve made more parenting mistakes than I can count, but that doesn’t make me an ignorant or negligent parent. Shame on you.

    2. Really? Coconut oil as a suncreen? YOU are a big danger to society. I bet you are an antivaxxer nutter too. So this mother innocently and carefully applied sunscreen like the majority of health care professionals would recommend, and you are nasty about it.

  11. Avatar photo
    Mary Bargfrede

    I have always burned severally when I use any kind of sunscreen. My mom didn’t believe me so one year we went floating and I let her put it on my back.  I didn’t put it on my arms or legs.  My back fried to a crisp my arms and legs barely turned red.   I am allergic to one of the chemicals in it so always be careful using it.  

  12. I don’t trust any brand except LA ROCHE-POSAY
    It’s a mineral Suncreen, it’s a expensive but it’s worth!

  13. I make my own. A base of organic coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, carrot seed oil, and other things. No issues at all. Coconut oil itself is a sunscreen, look up recipes to build your own sunscreen.

  14. I am curious (maybe I didn’t read it well enough), is the reaction only occurring on the face and neck area? My granddaughter seems to be having a slight reaction only on her face/neck when we apply sunscreen.

    1. Years ago I was allergic to sunscreen that had Paba in it. As an adult, it gave me a burning rash. Sunscreens no longer have Paba in them, Thank God. 

  15. I do not believe chemical sunscreens of any kind should be used, especially on children. They also contain known carcinogens. If you will be out in the sun for an extended period, use sleeves and hats and barrier sunscreen such as zinc oxide.