Did Spray Sunblock Cause 3rd Degree Burns to A Child? Doubtful.

I recently encountered a Facebook post of a concerned parent, advising against the use of suntan sprays:

(post in question)

I am not a medical doctor but there are a couple red flags with this story that lead me to call shenanigans, which discussion on this Snopes message board post reiterates in line with my thinking:

1. It seems like the kid would have had to have been wearing a motorcycle helmet, a cummerbund, ladies’ evening gloves, and long pants with no shirt while playing outside in order to not get burned on the areas not covered by bandages, and have no other burns elsewhere than the t-shirt area the Ace bandage covers. That, or he did actually get good coverage while wearing a shirt but then took the shirt off without covering the areas the shirt covered.

2. If the parents re-applied every 30 minutes-1hr, would they not have noticed increasingly incredible and extensive burns on his body, and prevented it from getting up to even 2nd degree?

3. Third-degree burns are “full thickness” burns down to the muscle or bone tissue that sometimes require plastic surgery or IV fluids according to several medical sources (U.Rochester, U.Maryland, Boston Children’s). Don’t bother looking it up on Google images unless you have a strong stomach — none of those wounds seem like they could be so easily concealed by an Ace bandage as shown in the photograph, much less would allow for the kid to walk around without being in an ICU. I wonder if the woman means “first degree” burns which are at the other end of the spectrum and are typical for sunburns.

4. “When you have to listen to your child scream in pain from them pulling his skin off is the most painful thing to see an experience!” Odds are doctors are not going to need to peel off skin from a third-degree burn, but rather complete skin grafts (under general anesthetic), extensive cosmetic surgery, physical rehabilitation, possibly lifelong assisted care and counseling (reference). You’re not going to walk out the door the same day you went in.

One thought on “Did Spray Sunblock Cause 3rd Degree Burns to A Child? Doubtful.

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