There are growing concerns that the sunscreen you use on your children or grandchildren could be dangerous for them. Just last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating the potential risks of spray sunscreens.
Spray sunscreens are such a popular choice because they're easy, but Consumer Reports warns: don't spray your kids.
"Kids are likely to squirm around, and that means that they risk breathing in the sunscreen. That can be a lung irritant, and some sprays contain titanium dioxide, and if you breathe in those sunscreens, it could be a potential cancer risk," said Patricia Calvo of Consumer Reports.
Many sunscreens are marketed as a special formula for babies and children and about a third of us buy a sunscreen that claims to be for kids.
"There's no safer ingredient just for kids. Manufacturers use the same active ingredients in kids' sunscreens as they do in adult sunscreens," said Calvo.
For example, comparing Coppertone Ultra Guard and Coppertone Water Babies side-by-side shows the ingredients are the same, but the Water Babies formula claims it's the "number one pediatrician-recommended brand." The company says it surveys pediatricians to find out which brand they recommend.
"You might think that 'pediatrician-tested' or 'pediatrician-recommended' means that the sunscreen is safer, but those terms aren't regulated. The FDA does not hold kids' sunscreen to a higher safety standard than adult sunscreen," said Calvo.
The American Academy of Dermatology has also issued a warning concerning spray sunscreens. They say never spray sunscreen around or near the face or mouth. If you are using them, you should first spray the sunscreen into your hands and then apply it.
In addition to steering clear of sprays, make sure the sunscreen you use protects against both UVA and UVB rays.