One of the benefits of spray-on sunscreen, as advertised in many commercials for the products, is its easy, fast application on kids eager to get on with play.
"It goes on smooth and it doesn't leave a thick residue for him," Spence Crimmins of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, told First Coast News of the easy-on product he likes to use on his 8-year-old.
But a major consumer advocacy group is advising parents and caregivers to avoid using the spray-on sun protection on children and opt for the traditional slathering of lotion for now instead.
Consumer Reports said parents should hold off on the spray variety while the Food and Drug Administration is conducting an investigation into the possible risk of spray sunscreen for children, namely what could happen if it is inhaled or swallowed during application.
Here are Consumer Reports recommendations about the use of spray-ons in the time being:
• Don’t use sprays on children, unless you have no other product available. In that case, spray the sunscreen onto your hands and rub it on. As with all sunscreens, be especially careful on the face, taking care to avoid the eyes and mouth.
• Adults can still use sprays — but don’t spray your face! Instead, spray on your hands and rub it on, making sure to avoid your eyes and mouth. And try to avoid inhaling it.
• Make sure you apply enough. Our tests have found that sprays can work well when used properly—but it is harder to make sure that you apply enough, especially when it’s windy. We recommend spraying as much as can be evenly applied, and then repeating, just to be safe. On windy days, you might want to spray the sunscreen on your hands and rub it on — or just choose one of our recommended lotions instead.
The FDA is looking into data about spray-on sunscreen products because there is concern about its potential for inhalation and dosage as it is applied differently than lotion and stick forms of sun protection.
Watch KIVI-TV's report about the possible concerns with this type of sunscreen:
Some parents said because of the convenience, they'll continue to use the spray sunscreen unless the FDA comes out with hard evidence that suggests they do otherwise.
"I usually have her hold her breath when I spray it on her," Jennifer Restivo from Savannah, Georgia, told WBBH-TV of how she applies the product on her daughter to avoid accidental inhalation.
(H/T: USA Today)
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