We’ve written before about how important UV eye protection is for little ones, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. (Except to say that it’s really important because kids spend so much time outside and some studies show that up to half of a person’s lifetime UV exposure happens before the age of 18 and UV radiation has been linked to cataracts and other eye problems so please, please, please push the sunglasses.)
We also know, from experience, that getting kids to keep the darn glasses on their faces isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So, how do you choose a pair of sunglasses that are appealing to kids? Let’s start with lens color.
Lens color…doesn’t matter. As long as the glasses are certified to block 100 percent of UV rays, they can be any color under the sun. (We can do a lot of different colors of mirroring in lenses, too, in case you’re interested.) Most sunglass lenses are amber or copper to block the sun’s HEV rays or blue light. By blocking blue light, they also enhance contrast.
For kids who wear eye glasses on the regular, photochromic (or Transitions) lenses might be a good option. Because they darken upon exposure to the sun, there’s no need for your child to swap out eye glasses for sunglasses. She’ll be able to see just as clearly, and let’s face it, there’s less risk of the eye glasses getting lost, forgotten, stepped on…
Now, let’s talk style. You can find colorful, cartoony frames everywhere, but sunglasses companies are beginning to say that kids actually want sunglasses that more closely resemble those worn by parents or older siblings. Oval, round, rectangular, cat-eye and geometric shapes are becoming popular, and kids are trending towards more sophisticated colors such as green, blue, tortoise or black. Metal frames, such as classic aviators, are popular, but kids also like plastic sunglasses frames, say something that resembles that iconic Ray-Ban wayfarer. For littles who do sports, there are wraparound shades in kids’ sizes, just like the ones Dad wears when he’s playing golf or fishing.
Kids are also pretty brand savvy now, and it might be worth shelling out a bit more money for a brand they want, if it means they’ll actually want to wear them.
We’ve got many styles to choose from (and remember any pair of regular glasses frames can be fitted with plain, dark lenses to become sunglasses), so bring your kiddos in and check them out!