Health Stories

Mum’s warning – toddler suffers severe sunburn AFTER applying sunscreen

She was furious with the sunscreen brand

A mum is warning other parents after her kids were left burnt and blistering, despite slathering them in sunscreen.

Hali Smith had taken her three children on holiday, but they were forced to spend three days in the hotel room due to her daughter, Scarlett’s, sunburn.

The mum from Wangauni, New Zealand, told Kidspot that Scarlett’s burn was so bad that she couldn’t even dress her three-year-old because she couldn’t bear anything on her shoulders.

She said, ‘We went to Fiji in November and I stocked up on Banana Boat there as it’s what they use at childcare.

‘I bought two brand new bottles of it on the first day and lathered the kids twice but just two hours later they were all badly burnt and in agony.’

Scarlett’s was so severe that Hali had to give her girl Panadol every four hours. Whereas her eldest boy, Ryan, was burnt on his legs, and middle son, Isaac, had burnt arms and legs.

Hali said, ‘Scarlett’s skin was red raw and blistering, and my eldest son, Ryan, who is ten, had a rashie on and his arms were protected but he was burnt all down the back of his legs.

Scarlett Smith's severe sunburn
(Credit: Kidspot)

‘My other son, Isaac, had a short sleeves rashie on, and his arms were burnt. Basically, any skin that was exposed and had sunscreen on was burnt.’

She added, ‘With this happening on day one, it totally ruined the start of the holiday as we had to stay in the room for most of the week.’

Scarlett especially suffered, with Hali explaining, ‘She couldn’t even sleep as her skin was so hot and painful, and the blisters were bursting. We couldn’t even dress her or put anything on top of her shoulders because it hurt so much.

‘I’m so angry that they can get away with selling products like this.’

Hali Smith had taken her three kids to Fiji (Credit: Getty)

Kidspot reached out to Banana Boat and were told they were ‘very sorry to hear about this family’s experience.’

A Spokesperson for Edgewell Personal Care told the publication, ‘While we cannot speak about their situation specifically, we want to reassure our consumers that they can feel confident using our products for safe and effective sun protection, when used according to their label instructions.

‘All Banana Boat sunscreen products undergo rigorous testing and all Banana Boat products sold in Australia and New Zealand meet the high Australian standards administered by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), which are some of the strictest in the world.’

They continued, ‘We also want to stress that sunscreen is only one part of an important combination of actions people must take to protect themselves against the sun. No sunscreen – even SPF50+ products – provides 100 per cent protection from the sun.

‘We also recommend that consumers, especially young children, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, seek shade and always wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear.’

Related stories