A 3-year-old boy suffered a horrifically sunburned face after a day at the beach.
Jennifer Sayers says she was enjoying the first hot day of the season with her son Liam at Cape Charles Beach, Virginia, the day before he woke up with the devastating sunburn.
“We went home that day a little pink. But had no real issues. It wasn't until the next morning when we saw Liam’s face and how much damage had actually been done,” she told Inside Edition.
Liam's face was covered with first- and second-degree burns.
“At the 72 hour mark his eyes were swollen shut. He had a lot of redness, large blisters that almost looked like holes,” she said. "It actually looked like divots on his nose. It was really scary to see."
Jennifer thought she was doing everything right. She used a name brand sunscreen — Banana Boat for Kids — with an SPF of 50-plus.
Jennifer says she followed the directions on the label, reapplying the lotion every two hours, but it didn't seem to have any effect on Liam.
Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City says the sunscreen Liam’s mom used may have expired. Most consumers don't realize that sunscreens typically expire in two years or less.
“When a sunscreen does expire, two things can happen,” Dr. Bowe told Inside Edition. “Either it's just not effective anymore so it’s not protecting you from those harmful UV rays, or the chemicals in the sunscreen can actually change and they can even become irritating.”
Many sunscreens don't even carry expiration dates; however, it is hard to tell how long they have been sitting in the shelves of homes. Dr. Bowe suggests not taking any chances – buy a fresh supply when the beach season starts.
“You should be using your sunscreen so frequently that you really shouldn't have any left over at the end of the summer,” Dr. Bowe said.
Dr. Bowes has sun safety rules: At the first sign of sunburn, get out of the sun. Give your child ibuprofen for the inflammation. Try a cool bath, then a moisturizing lotion with aloe. Give the kids plenty of fluids because sunburns can actually cause dehydration.
The maker of Banana Boat says its product is safe and effective when used as directed. According Banana Boat, its sunscreen products are not required by the FDA to have an expiration date printed on the package. They also take back unsold products from retailers at the end of each season.