May 31, 2017 8:51 pm

Calgary mom comes forward, says son’s skin reacted to Banana Boat sunscreen

WATCH: Parents still have many questions about serious allegations over a popular sunscreen. Health Canada is investigating reports of Banana Boat sunscreen possibly causing chemical burns. As Jill Croteau reports, one Calgary family is speaking about their experience.


A Calgary mom said she was compelled to come forward with her own son’s story, following troubling images of children suffering what appear to be chemical burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen.

Health Canada launched an investigation after a handful of families came forward alleging their children developed adverse reactions to sunscreen — specifically Banana Boat products.

READ MORE: Health Canada investigating Banana Boat sunscreen after 3 complaints of babies burned by product

5-year-old Jakob Bowers face was red and swollen

Supplied by family

Lynsey Bower said her five-year-old son, Jakob developed a concerning reaction almost immediately after applying a Banana Boat sunscreen stick last summer.

“When I first saw it I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and it solidified it was the sunscreen that he was reacting to,” Bowers told Global News.

Her nanny used the sunscreen on the boy, who she said has sensitive skin.

“He started to swell up like a balloon and was red and puffy and got this awful rash.”

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“He became very itchy and uncomfortable, and we were very sure it was specific to where she put it,” Bowers said. “[The nanny] said, ‘I only put it on face and arms,’ and that’s exactly where this reaction was happening.”

Banana Boat said in a statement it is aware of complaints.

“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,” the statement said.

Healthcare professionals say there is a worry parents will be so freaked out by the adverse reaction that they’ll avoid sunscreen altogether.

Pharmacist My Hoang said there are other variables to consider, such as the quantity of the product applied to the skin, possible allergies and exposure to the sun after the product was applied.

“People should not be afraid of sunscreen, and be aware that’s not the only thing — there are other factors that can contribute to things like reactions,” Hoang said.

Researchers who study the molecules and ingredients in sunscreen say it’s been tried and tested for years with virtually no reaction.

University of Calgary’s associate professor of chemistry, Belinda Heyne said simple checks on labels will help protect consumers.

The best protection is to avoid direct sunlight and try and be covered in the sun.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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