Concerned parents take to social media to warn others about popular sunscreens that have resulted in severe reactions.

The latest warning comes from a Queensland mother who claims her family’s holiday turned into a nightmare after her children broke out in blisters using a popular sunscreen.

Vanessa Munroe, from Broadmere, took her two children, aged six and 11, on a camping trip from Friday to Sunday and purchased Banana Boat’s SPF50+ Sun Comfort clear spray to keep them protected.

She said just one minute after spraying her daughter with the product and rubbing it in, Ruby started to blister on her lips, chin and under her eyes.

“She was up all night and the blisters were so big they’d pop themselves,” Ms Munroe told Yahoo7.

Ms Munroe said she took Ruby to a chemist on Sunday, who said it appeared she had suffered a chemical burn.

Last year CHOICE said that a potential class action against the maker of Banana Boat Australia, Edgewell Personal Care is brewing after lab tests found seven of their products failed to meet their stated SPF claims.

Some SPF 50+ aerosol sunscreens were showing results as low as SPF 11. Read more HERE.

Other stories of severe reactions 

In October we shared that three-year-old Rivers, suffered severe burns while wearing Peppa Pig sunscreen on family trip to Bali.

Rivers Jasper suffered burns to his back, face, shoulders and ears during a family trip to Bali last week.

sunscreen burn

His parents Shannae and Paul Jasper said the harrowing experience has left their son terrified of having any kind of lotion or spray put on.

‘He’s absolutely petrified now of when we try and put any type of spray, lotion, even in the bath he won’t pour the water over his back,’ Ms Jasper told Seven News Perth.

‘He won’t let us touch him.’

Ms Jasper said they put the Cancer Council-approved sunscreen on three-year-old Rivers in their hotel room but he was in unbearable pain within minutes.

Early in the year we shared the story of mum, Jessie Swan, who said her three-month-old son was in hospital for three days after a reaction to the 50+ Peppa Pig sunscreen range.

She posted to the Cancer Council Facebook page to warn others, “This is my 3 month old son. 

He has not been in the sun, he was simply outdoors so I put screen on him just in case. We’ve been in hospital for 3 days 2 nights so far trying to treat this horrible rash/burn caused by your 50+Peppa pig sunscreen.


**this is not sunburn, this is a reaction to the cream, can people stop commenting how irresponsible I am… please, as if i would leave a infant in the sun.”


Ms Swan certainly isn’t alone, a Sydney mum also shared how she suffered first and second degree burns after using the same product.

Mother-of-two, Kim Cancellier, said she bought the Peppa Pig Cancer Council sunscreen and decided to test it on herself before putting it on her three and five-year-old daughters.

“Instead of acting as a sunscreen and protecting me from the suns rays it had an opposite effect and turned me BRIGHT red, completely and utterly burnt,” Ms Cancellier said in her Facebook post.


“I went to trusty old Google to read reviews only to discover I’m not the only person who has had this issue.”

The 31-year-old said she was disgusted the sunscreen failed to protect her in the two hours she was in the sun at Dee Why beach last month.

This was a product I purchased with my young daughters in mind. A product I thought would PROTECT my children.  How could I not be aware that this is the result of using a cancer council branded sunscreen?!

I urge any of you with kids to NOT use this product without patch testing first!

I’m 31 and if I’m in this much pain then I can’t even begin to imagine the pain a child would be in.”

The Cancer Council of Australia did reach out to both mothers and issued a statement on its Facebook page.

“We would like to reassure everyone that our Cancer Council Kids sunscreen has been formulated to be as suitable for delicate skin as possible,” a spokesperson said.

“Please also be reassured that every product we release onto the market is approved by the TGA and meets very strict regulatory and quality standards.”

How to apply sunscreen and be sunsmart

Did you know Sunscreen should really be the last line of defence after clothing, a hat, shade and sunglasses?

During sun protection times, apply SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to any skin not covered by clothing.

Use a generous amount of sunscreen. The average-sized adult needs a teaspoon of sunscreen for their head and neck, each limb and for the front and the back of the body. That is about 35ml of sunscreen for one full body application.

Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this).

Remember to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.

If you have an allergic reaction to a sunscreen, try another brand or look for a fragrance-free product such as a toddler or sensitive sunscreen.

A doctor or chemist could also offer advice about choosing another product.

The Australasian College of Dermatologists does not recommend widespread regular use of chemical sunscreens on babies under 6 months.

Shade tips via Sunsmart

The shade moves with the sun, so be prepared to move around a bit and follow the shade.

Trees with dense foilage with a dark, even shade patch are the best types of natural shade.

Take portable shade with you to make sure you will not be caught out. Consider a beach or market umbrella or shade tent.

Use a shade visor or hang a blanket over the side windows in the car. Side and back windows don’t offer as much protection as the front windscreen.

When buying a pram, check that the hood can be adjusted, so that it can be moved to block out the direct sun. For the best protection, pram shade covers should completely cover the pram and be made of densely woven fabric that combines a mesh section – so the baby can see and air can circulate – and a shade fabric section. The fabric section should block close to 100% of UV radiation (UPF50+) and the mesh section should block at least 70% of UV radiation (UPF3.3).

Have you had any similar experiences?

Share your comments below.

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  • I know a child who had a severe reaction to Kids Banana Boat SPF30+.( NOT 50+ ).Places sush as her ear lobes which had extra lotion because hats don’t always shade as well as they should were the worst. Like red bricks. Luckily she didn’t have blisters. Her parents took her to the Dr. as they were afraid it be something else serious. The Dr. prescribed mild child dosage of a medication they normally give to adults. All Banana has been disposed of. It isn’t used by anybody or relatives of the family now. They had spent a few hours at a partially shaded park abd they all had their hats on all the time. Not at the beach where you can also get sunburnt more from the reflection off the water. There is a possibility that the Cancer Council sunscreens were made by the same company. In actual fact the main difference between Kids Suncreen and the one Adults use is the fragrance added to it and the chemicals to hold the fragrance in it. Unnecessary chemicals.


  • Ooh, this is so terrible. We’ve obviously been lucky not to have experienced anything like this. I must admit, I don’t buy Banana Boat sunscreen anymore, just to be seafe.


  • This is not ok in this day and age with chemical information and testing that is available to the manufacturing companies.


  • These products have been questions and recalled a few times already. They should just fix it already.
    I have been sensitive to lots of products my entire life, so I always check them first before applying and then also using on my child. But first, cover up as much as possible, shorts and rash shirt, even for me. Try to go to a pool that has some shade cover, and avoid midday sun.


  • My youngest has trouble with many sunscreens. We can only use the baby sensitive type on her and even then mainly just banana boat brand.


  • Wow! This just should not happen!


  • Ouch! Poor kids. I hope the company takes responsibility.


  • I know I am exceptionally allergic to sunscreen lotions so won’t use them on myself or any of my family. I just make sure they are covered with clothing and don’t stay in the sun unless its early morning or late in the afternoon when the bite from the sun has gone.


  • When you read the ingredients of a product before you buy it you can prevent this from happening. Many store bought sunscreens have only chemical ingredients, stuff I wouldn’t dare to put on or in my body ! Go organic, study the ingredients or make it yourself !


  • Patch test products before use.

    • Yes, that should be indeed the best way to go.


  • Clearly it needs to be taken off the market! I will not be buying this brand!


  • These reactions are horrific – I hope the product gets recalled until it is thoroughly tested to determine the cause – no other child should have to experience this level of pain and suffering from something that is supposed to protect them.


  • Really terrifying! That little boy. It must be so painful too!!


  • I hope the relevant authorities are re-testing this product for safety.


  • Oh wow these reactions are so shocking! How awful to think you’re doing the right thing and this happens


  • Those are horrific burns! Poor babies! It makes me frustrated that we do the right thing for our children to protect them from the sun, and then they use some chemical that reacts with the most sensitive skin and causes burns like these! They should be taken off the market!


  • These are horrific burns. Maybe it’s one of the ingredients in the sunscreen. Need answers before people stop using sunscreen altogether


  • Oh dear, this is very worrying.


  • I purchased ego sunsense screen 50+ for my face and heck. Within an hour of putting it on I came out in a massive reaction over my face and neck. I was bright red all over. My question is what are they putting in these products that are causing these horrendous reaction especially for children. The 30+ products are fine it’s this 50+ that has me very worried. I hope the children and people affected by this recovery soon :)


  • These are such terrible stories. I’ve seen them across many social media channels and on TV. We’ve not experienced any such sun burn trauma and we use the Banana Boat 50+ sunscreen. It was our go-to on the Gold Coast recently and we’ve since used at home without any problems.


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