Banana Boat slammed by beachgoers suffering severe sunburn
BANANA Boat has been slammed by beachgoers after they were left with horrific sunburn.
Mothers said the sunscreen failed to protect their children and even adults have been left with blistering backs and shoulders.
One mother had to have her five-year-old daughter treated for first-degree burns when her skin began peeling off her shoulder after using Banana Boat sunscreen.
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"We went away to Lakes Entrance and on Friday, before heading home, we decided to sit on the beach," mother Danielle Batten told news.com.au.
"I piled on the sunscreen before we even left the hotel room because her being a kid I didn't want her to get burnt. We went to the beach between 12pm and 1.30pm and got in the car and went home.
"That night her whole back was blotchy and red and the next night when we were getting ready to go out for dinner, I noticed some blisters on her shoulder and thought it might be from the sunburn.
"We got home and the blisters had popped and her skin started tearing."
Mrs Batten, from Gippsland, Victoria, took her daughter to hospital, where she was told the young girl had first-degree burns that could possibly scar.
Doctors patched her up but the next day the sunburn started seeping and she had go back to the doctor a number of times to get it repatched.
"She just wakes up in the middle of the night screaming in pain," Mrs Batten said.
"I want it taken off the shelves. I don't want any parents, families, kids or anyone to go through this, it's beyond ridiculous."
She said she had used Banana Boat sunscreen years ago herself and thought it would be fine to use on her daughter.
"It's all over the TV how good it is but look what it's doing to people," she said.
Mrs Batten's daughter now can't even go out into the sun because her burn is so severe.
Her story is similar to that of Brisbane mother Kirsty Hellmech, whose nine-year-old daughter was also burnt severely after using Banana Boat aerosol that had an SPF of 50 plus.
The family went camping near Rainbow Beach in Queensland on December 21 and within 45 minutes of being in the sun Mrs Hellmech's daughter Abby was burnt.
"We stopped at a local Aldi and I went to grab the Aldi sunscreen but they only had Banana Boat," Mrs Hellmech told news.com.au.
"I thought 'that's a good name, I'll grab that' and I put it on Abby 20 minutes before we got to the beach.
"Within 45 minutes, Abby came up to me saying her back was burning and I lifted up her bikini top and she started going a dark shade of pink.
"I was shocked, it doesn't usually take 45 minutes for a kid to burn in the sun, especially if you put sunscreen on them."
Just hours later, Abby had blisters on her back the size of 10 cent pieces.
Mrs Hellmech rang a health line and put her daughter in a cold bath as instructed.
Her family also dumped their towels in an Esky to put on Abby's back.
"She was in a fair amount of pain. She's not a kid that whinges when she is hurt so for her to say to me she was burning was a big thing," Mrs Hellmech said.
The Brisbane mother too thinks the product should be taken off the shelves and retested.
"I don't want to see another kid get burnt like Abby did," she said.
"We couldn't go down to the beach and we very nearly cut our holiday short. When you're sunburnt it's not nice to go out in the sun and she was undercover for the next five days.
"She still has a pink patch on her back."
Mrs Hellmech's 14-year-old son also got blisters on his shoulders and face after using Banana Boat sunscreen.
"It's disgusting they are allowed to sell this stuff, that's what gets me," she said.
"I broke down. You try to do the right thing as a parent and kids end up getting hurt anyway. Something needs to be done about this."
Kayne, a 22-year-old from Sydney, and his sister, also suffered from severe burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen.
They spent Christmas Day on Manly beach with their mother, who was making sure they were applying sunscreen regularly.
"I put it on before I left and two hours later I realised I was getting a bit burnt so put more on. Then I went for a swim and put more on after that," Kayne told news.com.au.
"Usually I'm not the best with sunscreen but because mum was there she made sure we put it on, so she couldn't be grumpy at us for getting burnt."
When Kayne woke up in the morning, he said there were blisters all over his back.
That evening blisters also broke out on his sister's back.
Kayne said his sister was given Banana Boat as a gift and they thought it was a good brand, better than cheaper options on supermarket shelves.
"I always thought Banana Boat was the best one. I will never use it again," he said.
Despite the sunburn happening more than two weeks ago, Kayne still noticed his skin was peeling on Saturday.
"It was the most painful sunburn I have ever had. It was behind my knees and on my calves and it was really hard to sleep for at least five days," Kayne said.
"Banana Boat needs to admit they were wrong and fix it. They need to test it and prove it works before it goes back on the shelves."
Banana Boat regional vice president Ivan Nuich said there had never been issues with the product.
"It may seem like there are a lot of complaints but we have sold millions of sunscreens each year to many satisfied customers," he said in a statement.
He said sunscreen returned for testing had "not shown an issue with efficacy".
Many also complained of problems with Banana Boat sunscreen in January last year.
Melliiee Hunter said the sunscreen failed to protect her nine-year-old son on Australia Day and he was left with burns on his face, arms, lower back, chin, lip and cheeks.
"He was crying from the pain and I was ready to walk into every shop that sold your product and dispose of it in a not so calm manner," she wrote to Banana Boat on Facebook last year.
"The pharmacist was disgusted by the result and described his burns as second degree. Second degree burns to a child's face."
In 2015, consumer group Choice found two Banana Boat SPF 50 products did not deliver on its claims.
Edgewell's marketing director, Rachel Pullicino, told news.com.au at the time the company had confidence in its Banana Boat sunscreens.
"Any product claiming an SPF must meet precise testing requirements before it can be sold in Australia. Our products are uniquely formulated and rigorously tested to meet the claimed SPF as required by Australian sunscreen standards and in compliance with the TGA Regulations," she said.
Products were tested at the end of 2015 after Choice published a report about the two failed sunscreens.