WESTWOOD, Kan.- Swim team night at Woodside Health and Tennis Club means a packed pool, full of kids ready to take in the late-afternoon sunshine. April Bier and lots of other parents plan to protect their kids with the same thing: spray-on sunscreen.
“It’s easy, the coverage seems even,” said Bier. “The lotions which we put on our face generally takes like forever to dry and it’s cakey.”
The Food and Drug Administration is looking into spray-on sunscreens, studying them to see if the sunscreens are safe if they’re inhaled by children. Until the study is over, Consumer Reports advises parents to stay away from the spray-ons.
“These sprays might have some chemicals that have not been studied,” warned Dr. Chitra Dinakar, a pediatrician for Children’s Mercy.
Dr. Dinakar said sprays of any kind can be an issue for some children.
“The concern is that my patient with asthma or allergies can have an asthma attack or just trigger an allergy attack,” said Dr. Dinakar.
She recommends using lotions if possible.
“If you really have to use a spray, maybe the sensible way is to spray it on your palm and then rub it on the child,” Dr. Dinakar explained.
Bier says she never sprays sunscreen directly on her child’s face or neck, and she’s not sure if she’ll heed the warning from consumer reports, until there’s more research done.
“I don’t think anything surprises me anymore. If it’s convenient then there’s probably another side to it,” Bier said.
Consumer Reports says adults can still use the sprays, but don’t directly spray your face and don’t inhale the product. The magazine also says the spray-on sunscreens are effective against sun damage when applied correctly.