Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means: The battle is on when it comes to protecting your family from the sun’s harmful rays.
The sun is a powerful force, and it only takes one bad sunburn to learn that two minutes of application is much better than weeks of crispy, cracked, peeling and painful skin.
But not every sunscreen fits the bill. In fact, a mother from Canada is sending a major warning to people everywhere about the dangers of sunscreen and how it can cause 2nd-degree burns.
Rebecca Cannon lathered her 14-month-old daughter in Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 before heading out for a day in the sun. It turns out that the sun was the least of Rebecca’s concerns.
After using the popular sunscreen to protect her daughter from the suns harsh rays, it ended up being the lotion — not the sun — that she needed protection from.
Rebecca hadn’t noticed a problem when she applied some of the sunscreen on her daughter’s face. Of course, she wasn’t aware at the time that she should be looking for one.
“As the day went on, she got a little redder and redder and the next morning she woke up and was swollen, she was bright red, there were blisters starting to pop up.”
The concerned mother took the toddler to the doctor where they identified her skin to be suffering from second-degree burns, also known as chemical burns. Many parents do not realize you can get a chemical burn from sunscreen.
“I would have never in a million years imagined her to get a burn so severe from sunscreen,” wrote Rebecca.
Rebecca’s doctor said that the 2nd-degree burns could have been caused by a severe allergic reaction. Similar cases have been reported in some babies.
The solution is not to give up using sunscreen altogether, because sunburned skin and cancerous spots are obviously not what we want for our children either.
Experts recommend doing some research before purchasing sunscreen for your family. The Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” sunscreen guide is an excellent place to start. They have lists of the best and worst scoring sunscreens for kids, as well as a plethora of tips and tricks for keeping your family safe in the sun.
An informative article from 2016 on MotherJones.com lists the best and worst sunscreens, as reported by the Environmental Working Group. The EWG rates sunscreens on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst:
The Best Beach and Sport sunscreens for kids
- All Good Sunscreen and Sunstick, SPF 30 and 50
- All Terrain Aqua and TerraSport Sunscreens, SPF 30
- Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Badger Sunscreen Cream and Lotion, SPF 25, 30, and 35
- Bare Belly Organics, SPF 34
- Beauty Without Cruelty, SPF 30
- Kiss My Face Organics Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Nature’s Gate Face Sunscreen, SPF 25
- Tropical Sands Sunscreen and Facestick, SPF 30
- Releve Organic Skincare, SPF 20
- Star Naturals Sunscreen Stick, SPF 25
The Best Sunscreens for Kids
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen lotion, SPF 30
- All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33
- All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
- BabyHampton Beach Bum Sunscreen, SPF 30
- COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen, unscented moisturizer, SPF 50.
- Belly Button & Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30.
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, SPF 35.
- BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 35
- California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
- Substance Baby Natural Sun Care Creme, SPF 30
- Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
- Sunumbra Sunkids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 40
- Thinksport for Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50
- TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
The Worst Sunscreens for Kids
On the 1 to 10 scale, the below products scored a 7 or higher (with 10 being the worst) because they made high SPF claims or had higher amounts of the additives oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.
- Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100**
- Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, Wacky Foam, and Sunscreen lotion, SPF 55
- CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen and Spray, SPF 55
- Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
- Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen For Kids, SPF 70
- Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray and Stick products, SPF 70
- Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
**This was the only product that got a 10.
In addition to doing your research, experts suggest doing the “spot test” on your kids. This shouldn’t be a last-minute experiment as you’re running out the door to the beach. Do it after school or in the evening, by simply dabbing the sunscreen onto a small area of your child’s skin and watching to see if they have an allergic reaction.
Remember, we know the sun will burn you. The key is to make sure that the sunscreen won’t.
When it all comes down to it, the summer sun is hard to avoid. Prepare yourself and your family now for the long days ahead.