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FDA Issues New Warning Against Spray Sunscreen for Kids

While the public is often told about the benefits of sunscreen and advised on the proper ways to administer it, many parents struggle with uncooperative children when trying to apply sun block. As a result many parents use popular spray-on sunscreens, in an effort to quickly apply sunscreen to their squirrely kids. Although it’s faster and less messy than traditional lotions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the potential health risks of spray sunscreen. The aerosol spray has been reported to irritate asthma, causing severe coughing and wheezing particularly if inhaled by children. FDA advises that dermatology providers need to communicate to patients and parents of young patients that, while sunscreen is essential for sunburn and skin cancer protection, traditional lotion-based sunscreens are safer than spray-on sunscreens.

Consumer Report recently advised that until the research is released, parents should avoid using spray sunscreens on their children. If your patient’s summer stock of sunscreen is solely spray-on, here are a few tips to make the most of it while protecting respiratory health:

  • Don’t spray directly into children’s faces. Alternatively, spray the sunscreen onto the hands and rub it on, avoiding the eyes and mouth, as well as inhalation.
  • Only use spray on sunscreen in a well-ventilated area, and tell the child to hold his or her breath while you spray
  • Be sure to apply enough. Often, spray-on sunscreen results in a lighter coverage. Although the recent FDA warnings involve respiratory issues, children still need to protect their skin from harmful UV radiation. Spray evenly, and repeat often, especially when the weather is windy.

 

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Image: Josar Photos




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