Is sunscreen dangerous for kids?

As parents, we always want to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. When it comes to sunscreen, you may have heard concerns about its safety for kids.

In this blog post, we'll address common misconceptions and provide you with accurate information to help you make an informed decision about using sunscreen on your child.


Sunscreen and Skin Protection

Sunscreen is an important tool for protecting children's delicate skin from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. The primary concern is UV radiation, which can lead to sunburn, skin damage, and an increased risk of skin cancer later in life. Using sunscreen is an effective way to reduce these risks and keep your child's skin healthy.


FDA / TGA Regulations and Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates sunscreen products to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Sunscreens undergo rigorous testing before they are approved for use. They are considered safe when used as directed and in appropriate amounts. It's important to choose sunscreens specifically formulated for children, as they often use ingredients that are gentler on the skin.


Allergies and Skin Sensitivities

While rare, some children may experience allergic reactions or skin sensitivities to certain sunscreen ingredients. To minimize the risk, select sunscreens labeled as hypoallergenic or designed for sensitive skin. Conduct a patch test before applying it all over your child's body, especially if they have a history of allergies or skin sensitivities.


Proper Application and Usage

To ensure maximum safety and effectiveness, it's crucial to apply sunscreen correctly and follow the recommended guidelines:

  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen generously and evenly to all exposed areas of your child's skin.
  • Start applying sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside to allow for absorption.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if your child is swimming or sweating.
  • Encourage other sun-protective measures like wearing sun hats, protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours.


Avoiding Harmful Ingredients

While the majority of sunscreen ingredients are considered safe, some chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate have raised concerns regarding their impact on coral reefs. To address this, choose sunscreens labeled as "reef-safe" or opt for mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are considered safe and effective alternatives.


Parental Supervision and Education

It's important for parents to educate themselves about sunscreen safety and make informed choices. Read the labels, understand the ingredients, and follow the recommended usage guidelines. Remember, sunscreen should be just one part of a comprehensive sun protection strategy that includes seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and practicing other sun-safe habits.


When used as directed, sunscreen is an essential tool for protecting your child's skin from the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays. The safety of sunscreen has been extensively studied and regulated by the FDA.

By selecting age-appropriate sunscreen, applying it correctly, and considering individual sensitivities, you can ensure your child enjoys the outdoors safely. Keep in mind that sun protection is a holistic approach, and it's important to educate yourself and your child about the importance of sun safety.

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