Health Canada says it’s investigating three cases of babies alleged to have suffered from severe burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen. So far, the federal agency says it’s received nine complaints of adverse reactions from the company’s sunblock.
The three cases involving infants poured in over the past few weeks, according to Renelle Briand, a Health Canada spokesperson. A Quebec mom reported injuries to her 14-month-old on May 12, while another incident was reported to the federal agency’s adverse reactions database on May 15.
Briand said Ottawa health officials contacted Edgewell Personal Care Canada, the makers of Banana Boat, to follow up on the complaints.
“To date, Health Canada has received nine adverse reaction reports involving Banana Boat products as suspected products. Four of the reports were for Banana Boat products for kids and three were for Banana Boat Baby. The other two reports were for adult products,” Briand said in a statement.
“We encourage any individuals who have adverse reactions, such as burns, to go to the adverse reactions database to fill out a product complaint form,” she told Global News.
The nine cases exclude one report coming out of the Le Journal de Montreal, Briand said.
In this case, another Quebec mom claimed that her nine-month-old baby boy, Loic, faced severe redness on his face followed by blisters. Caroline Morneau, a Cacouna, Que. mom, alleges Banana Boat sunblock may be the culprit.
In a Facebook post on May 26, Morneau said her son’s face was covered in burns.
“I thought my son was experiencing an allergic reaction to the sun so I took him to the pediatrician and I was shocked. It was second-degree chemical burns caused by Banana Boat sunscreen for babies,” Morneau said.
“I’m not writing this post to garner pity, but rather as a warning to parents to pay a little extra money to ensure the quality of the products that we use on our children…And I wouldn’t have written it if Loic was the only case of a burn with this product….but since yesterday, I’ve been hearing horror stories about Banana Boat,” she said.
Rebecca Cannon, a Botwood, N.L. mom, told Global News that her one-year-old, Kyla, got burned after her parents applied Banana Boat Kids aerosol spray with an SPF 50.
In her Facebook posts, she said dermatologists verified that Kyla received second degree caustic burns – or chemical burns.
“I just want parents and guardians to be aware and do their research before applying anything to their skin and especially their children’s skin. After a lot of research I have found a lot of issues with Banana Boat,” Cannon told Global News.
“I think the only reaction or thing that really shocked me was the fact that I did some research and found so many other instances of this happening. It’s just insane,” Cannon said.
Banana Boat said it’s “aware that there has been some public discussion” regarding its products and it wants to reassure families that its products undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety and quality before they hit the market.
“We are concerned when any person encounters a reaction using Banana Boat products. We take all of our consumers’ concerns seriously and investigate all cases when we are contacted,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“Banana Boat sunscreens fall within a neutral pH range, which means they are safe for human skin, topical use, and cannot cause chemical burns, which are sometimes mistakenly linked to personal care products or confused with sunburns…For some people, their sensitivity to an ingredient can be triggered or exacerbated by the sun. Such a photoallergic reaction can result in an exaggerated skin rash or sunburn,” the statement said.
The spokesperson urged Canadians to visit a dermatologist if skin issues crop up. They can also call the company line at 1-800-723-3786.