Spence Crimmins uses spray sunscreen to keep his son Ryan, 8, protected on Jacksonville Beach in Florida. / WTLV-TV
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Don't spray your kids with sunscreen, at least for now, Consumer Reports says.
The consumer magazine is warning parents against spray-ons, saying it could put children at risk for asthma or allergy attacks.
The July warning comes after the Food and Drug Administration announced in 2011 that they are studying the product as to whether or not it can be harmful when inhaled by children. The FDA has not reached a conclusion yet.
"We now say that until the FDA completes its analysis, the products should generally not be used by or on children," Consumer Reports says. "We have also removed one sunscreen spray - Ocean Potion Kids Instant Dry Mist SPF 50 - from the group of recommended sunscreens in our sunscreen ratings, because it is marketed especially for children."
CR cautions only to use sprays on children if no other product is available at the time. If that is the case, CR recommends adults spray the sunscreen onto their hands and then rub it on their kids, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
However, some folks think the spray-on sunscreens have benefits. Spence Crimmins of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., protects his 8-year-old with spray-on sunscreen because it "goes on smooth and doesn't leave a thick residue." His son, Ryan Crimmins, likes the spray because it doesn't take long to apply, leaving more time for water activities.
"It's just quick and easy and it's really smooth and it doesn't hurt my skin," Crimmins said.
Dr. Sunil Joshi, a family asthma and allergy specialist, says spray-on sunscreens and all aerosol products should never be used on kids with respiratory symptoms. Joshi says the sprays can trigger allergy or asthma attacks.
"If there is a child who tends to cough or wheeze or gets head colds and now you are spraying in their face, they are very likely to have those same symptoms and that can persist for hours at a time," Joshi said. He recommends sunscreens without scents and hypo-allergenic lotions.
Crimmins says despite the warning from Consumer Reports, he will continue using sprays on his children.
"It doesn't persuade me because this is my youngest and we've used it since he was little and we have a 21-year-old and they are both doing just fine," Crimmins said. When WTLV-TV polled 10 families in Jacksonville Beach, the station found 7 out of 10 parents use spray-on sunscreens for their youngsters.
Read the original story: Consumer Reports warns against spray-on sunscreens for kids