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Spray Sunscreen – Is It Safe?

Steve Frost/Thinkstock

When the spray sunscreens hit the market some years ago, my first reaction was “Finally!!!”  Maybe you had the same reaction because you know how much of a pain in the butt it is to apply the lotion by hand.  It’s messy, you squeeze out too much, it’s greasy, and you usually end up with more on your hands than anywhere else.

Yes, we want to protect our children from the harmful rays of the large ball of incandescent gas that sometimes appears in the skies of Central New York.  The spray cans spray evenly, they are less sticky, and they are definitely a lot quicker to apply.
The spray sunscreens are great when it comes to applying sunscreen to squirming children, but the problem seems to be, as research is now showing, your young children may actually be breathing in the ingredients from the sunscreen you are spraying.  This mostly applies to younger children who generally have a tendency to open their mouth and  do more squirming while the sunscreen is being applied by a parent or other adult. It can also be a bigger problem for asthmatic children.
Consumer reports has recently removed the recommendation of spray sunscreens until the FDA completes more research of the risks.  You can read more about it here.
Commons sense says to use it outside as outside air is five times cleaner than inside air.  If you are applying to a child, maybe you can spray the sunscreen into your hand and apply it manually to the child.  Obviously don’t spray kids right in the face with the stuff, right?
The spray is still safe for adults and older children who have more of a tendency to close their mouth and eyes.

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