Lehigh Valley

Consumer Reports warns about spraying sunscreen on kids

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Before you spray your kids with sunscreen, Consumer Reports has a warning.

The organization recommends not using spray sunscreens on children until the FDA completes an investigation into potential risks.

"The concern is that children can inhale some of those particles," said Dr. Eva Mayer, a pediatrician with St. Luke's Coopersburg Pediatrics.

"Children can get something called pneumonitis, where the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed," she explained. "There have been no documented cases that I was able to find where an aerosol sunscreen has actually been linked to a phenomena or pneumonitis in children but the worry is there."

Dr. Mayer is also a mother of two children.

"They like the sun spray because it's a little more fun for them but I've always made sure they do not spray it anywhere near their nose and mouth. I have them spray it into their hands a lot of times," she said.

Some people by the pool told 69 News they prefer lotion over spray.

"The spray kind I really don't care for, mainly because I don't feel it gets onto the body as well as the actual lotion plus when you spray it, it's like hairspray, you inhale it," said Jinette Ramos, a mother of six.

"The spray stuff, you don't get all of it on you and it goes all over the place," said James Mosser with First Step Child Care.

Jasmine Riegel admits the spray sunscreen is easy, but she recently stopped using it on her four year-old son when she heard about the health concerns.

"That kind of freaked me out then I went back to the lotion," she said.

"That's why people probably buy it, is because it's convenient," she said. "You just spray it on and then you can go. But really what are you saving, like 30 seconds, one minute?"

According to Consumer Reports, if you have to use the spray on kids because you have no other options, spray it onto your hands first then rub it in. The organization says it's okay for adults, but don't spray it on your face.

"I think it is safe to use the sun spray creams if you spray them into a child's hand away from their nose and mouth. Lower body is okay," said Dr. Mayer. "I think that the creams and lotions are preferable, however, because you get less allergic reactions than the sprays and you have less of a risk of inhalation and they're more evenly spread."

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