British Columbia

Victoria mother wants sunscreen pulled after son suffers burns, blisters

Health Canada is investigating more than 130 complaints about Banana Boat products but has not issued any recalls.

Health Canada is investigating more than 130 complaints about Banana Boat products

Patrizia Fitch of Victoria says her son broke out in painful blisters after he applied Banana Boat sunscreen. (Patrizia Fitch)

A Victoria mother is calling for a sunscreen brand to be pulled from store shelves, claiming her child suffered burns and blisters after applying the product.

Patrizia Fitch says she made sure her son, 12, put on sunscreen for a field trip last week. Despite applying the lotion several times that day, his skin turned bright red and blistered.

"He can't put on a shirt. When he was sleeping, he was sleeping sitting, because he couldn't have anything touching him," she says.

Health Canada said it is investigating more than 130 complaints about Banana Boat sunscreen, but the agency has not found any issues of non-compliance in test results and has not recalled any products.

"Health Canada is reviewing the adverse reaction reports, along with other sources of information, to confirm or rule out a potential association between the reported health concern and the product," said Health Canada spokesperson Renelle Briand in a statement.

Fitch says her son applied this sunscreen more than once an hour while he was outside. (Patrizia Fitch)

"It is important to note that adverse reaction reports outline suspected associations that reflect the opinion or observation of the individual making the report, and are not, on their own, proof that a specific substance caused a reaction."

Sunscreen retested

The issue received public attention in May when three mothers complained that their babies suffered burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen.

Fitch is warning other parents about her son's burns and blisters after applying the sunscreen. She also wants it pulled from store shelves as a precaution.

"People are putting this on to protect their kids, and then they end up burning their children," she said.

In a statement issued through its Facebook page, Banana Boat Canada says it has retested the sunscreen and found no issues with the formula.

"We are sympathetic to consumer concerns and want to reassure Canadians that Banana Boat Canada's number 1 priority is the safety of our consumers," the statement says.

Some people have sensitivities to different ingredients in personal care products, which can be exacerbated by the sun, the statement said. It also encouraged people to test products on a small patch of skin before using them.

Fitch says the company has contacted her to find out more about what happened to her son.