Children allegedly burned by sunscreen sparks usage debate
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Thursday, June 1, 2017, 12:37 PM - An investigation is underway by Health Canada following numerous reports of second degree burns allegedly caused by Banana Boat sunscreen for children.
"We're definitely looking into it and we're taking them very seriously," Health Canada spokesperson Renelle Briand told CBC.
The issue was brought to the agency's attention after Cacouna, Que., resident Caroline Morneau posted to Facebook on May 26 about a burn her nine-month-old baby Loïc received even though she had applied 60 SPF Banana Boat Baby sunscreen to her child's skin.
According to the post, blisters appeared on Loïc's skin a day after the lotion was applied. Morneau took her son to a pediatrician and found out that Loïc had suffered from a second-degree burn.
Et bien voila ... je suis rendu a faire un post sur ca. Non je ne suis pas indigne au point de faire bruler mon bébé au soleil... Loïc est aller a la garderie avant hier et il est revenu le visage...
"I wrote this post not to get pity from people," Morneau wrote.
The Quebec resident warned other parents of the burns and encouraged them to pay extra for sunscreen to ensure better quality.
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A similar complaint was made by Olds, Alta., resident Crystal Baker after a rash developed on the skin of her one-year-old son Hunter Trafiak minutes after applying the Banana Boat spray.
"I applied the sunscreen on a sunny day in mid-April. About two minutes after he started squealing. He just started screaming and kept rubbing his face, and he kept grabbing onto his arm and pulling his shirt," Baker told The Weather Network.
“I noticed that his whole one side of his body from literally head to toe was going red and blotchy, and I was like 'what's going on.'"
Hives started to appear on Hunter's face, arm and legs, Baker explained.
"I couldn't console him. I just felt so bad."
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Baker noticed the rash was progressing, turning from pink to light red and at that moment she decided to rush him inside and bathe him.
"He started to calm down after I got it [sunscreen] off of his skin. The red blotchiness started to subside about an hour or so after the bath."
Baker notified Banana Boat of the incident over Facebook. She was contacted by a spokesperson about three weeks ago who apologized to her. Baker was told she would receive a cheque in the mail for reimbursement of the product.
"To be completely honest with you, I was pretty disappointed because as far as I'm concerned, they should have been taking it off the shelves. There should be a recall, absolutely."
The Alberta resident said she has yet to receive the cheque.
"It terrified me," Baker told The Weather Network. "I think Banana Boat should consider revamping how they make their products because they are putting so many children at risk of chemical burns."
Banana Boat Sun Care Canada told CBC News that it's aware of the public complaints.
"We'd like to reassure families that all Banana Boat products undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety and quality before they are placed in the market," the brand said in an email to CBC.
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They also suggested that a reaction such as blisters may be caused by a sensitivity to an ingredient in the sunscreen that could be triggered by sun exposure, according to the news agency.
"We are concerned when any person encounters a reaction using Banana Boat products," the company said in the email to CBC.
Health Canada continues to investigate.