Yes, just the other day we said not to use it. And if that precaution makes you feel better, by all means go ahead. But for parents like me, and my college roommate who asked my advice the other day because spray sunscreen is the only kind her son will tolerate, there's no need to feel bad if you continue to use it. I say this after asking Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., pediatrician, mom, and melanoma survivor, who wrote our most recent story on sun safety. She's passionate about the topic, so hers is an opinion we especially trust.
There's no definitive proof yet that it's harmful (the Consumer Reports story from earlier this week is based on a 2011 announcement by the FDA that it's studying the effects of spray sunscreen on children; no conclusion has been reached). So ultimately, says Dr. Swanson, it's a matter of risk/benefit: "I still believe the best sunscreen is the one you like, as data shows you'll use it more. And really, the best sunscreen is the one put on early and reapplied often. But we need to take new evidence and information seriously. So if you plan to continue to use spray sunscreens, mitigate risks." Here are Dr. Swanson's three tips on how to do that:
1. Spray it only outside
2. Only use it away from the face
3. Have kids close their eyes and mouth and hold their breath while spraying it
Photo: Small boy crawling towards water at the beach via Shutterstock.