Another hot, sunny day begs a question about sunscreen.
A disturbing post is re-circulating Facebook a year after its posting. A mom, Rebecca Cannon, shared pictures of her baby daughter appearing to have burns and blisters on her face. She captioned, in part:
"...please watch and be careful when using aerosolized sunscreen ! I have done a lot of research. Since coming home and have found a disturbing amount of cases like ours. I don't know why it's not removed from the shelves !! Pictures from first to last is from yesterday morning to this afternoon please be careful the sunscreen used was banana boat spf 50 broad spectrum kids sunscreen -- have spoken with banana boat and at this point besides a reimbursement for the product not sounding like they are going to do anything."
WFMY News 2 cannot VERIFY the circumstances preceding the post, and the mom indicates she has been in contact with Banana Boat.
Thus, we will VERIFY, generally, if aerosol (spray) sunscreens can cause burns and other negative side effects in babies.
To VERIFY, we consulted Dr. Phillip Khan of Novant Health Coastal Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Khan explained babies have fewer natural protective mechanisms from the sun and heat compared with older children and adults.
"The skin is thinner, has less protection from the pigment melanin and has less of a film protecting from water loss, bacteria and viruses. Blisters and infections may result," he warned.
He said sunscreen is safe for young children but shouldn't substitute other precautions -- avoiding peak hours in the sun, and using protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.
Khan recommends a sun-protection factor (SPF) or at least 30.
"A higher SPF gives you more leeway if you misuse it or apply it incorrectly. Whatever brand you choose, the sunscreen should be broad spectrum and offer protection from both UVA and UVB radiation."
Khan said it is important to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, so it has time to take effect. Then, reapply every 90 minutes to two hours or more frequently, if you have been sweating or swimming.
Any sunscreen can cause burns if not applied properly or frequently enough. Babies are especially susceptible to burns, because their skin is thinner.