Babies, toddlers, children, oh my! When little ones wear sunglasses, it’s an adorable sight to see… If you can get them to keep them on for longer than 5 seconds. The reality is, despite children overloading with cuteness when they have a pair of sunglasses on, it’s not so cute when they’re constantly pulling their sunglasses off and subjecting their eyes to harmful UV rays. As a result, most parents opt for a wide-brimmed hat that ties under their chin and – voila! Sun protection 101. But does a hat do justice?
Today, we're getting to the bottom of it. Here are the top 10 concerns and questions every parent has about children sunglasses and the sun, and all the solutions you're looking for.
Do children actually need sunglasses?
Yes. You wouldn’t leave your house without your sunglasses, and your children shouldn’t either. In fact, children’s eyes are significantly more susceptible to the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays so the UV rays penetrate deeper into the eye. This can increase the beginning of various eye problems, such as surface diseases, cataracts, and even macular degeneration.
So, yes – children do actually need sunglasses, and possibly even more so than adults do due to their vulnerability since their eyes are not fully developed yet. Add in the fact that most kids spend a large amount of time outdoors and children's sunglasses become even more imperative.
Are hats a good alternative to wearing sunglasses?
Hats are always a great idea but they don’t provide optimal sun protection for your eyes. Sun can still bounce off surfaces from below, such as water, snow, and even the sidewalk, and into their eyes. As a rule of thumb, a hat and sunglasses for kids are a must.
Do kids need to wear sunglasses on cloudy or overcast days?
After struggling with your little one to get their sunglasses on for longer than they’ll likely even be outside playing, you may be tempted to just give in and let them go outdoors, sans the shades, especially if it’s cloudy or overcast. What harm can be done if the sun isn’t out, right?
Unfortunately, the sun’s UV rays are so strong that they can penetrate right through the clouds and into your little one's eyes. So, even if it’s not sunny outside, your child’s eyes are still being subjected to the harm that comes from the sun.
As a rule of thumb, if your child is outside, they should be wearing sunglasses.
When should children start wearing sunglasses?
As soon as possible. While it may be physically challenging to get your child to wear sunglasses, it’s nothing a bit of dedication and consistency can’t fix. That’s also not to mention that Julbo children's sunglasses are designed with kids in mind.
Some styles have a flat elastic strap (that wrap around their head (great for babies and toddlers), whereas styles for older children are designed with a wrap-around frame for ultimate comfort and to help keep them in place.
Plus, Julbo sunglasses for kids look great which is key to getting your child to wear them. If your little one is old enough to pick their own sunglasses, we highly encourage this, as it’s an excellent way to get them excited about wearing them.
Can my child wear sunglasses if they wear prescription glasses?
There are many options for children who wear prescription glasses, such as prescription sunglasses. However, we do recommend speaking with their eye doctor to get their professional recommendations.
How do I keep my children’s sunglasses on?
Great question. While there’s no denying that children like the pull things off of their face, it’s not something they won’t overcome. You just have to get them used to wear sunglasses the same way you did when they started to wear hats.
Additionally, there are various styles of children sunglasses that are designed to help parents win this battle, such as light, wrap-around frames that your child will barely even notice.
However, if you’re certain your child will still refuse to keep them on, elastic band sunglasses for kids are always a safe bet.
What should I look for when choosing sunglasses for kids?
We have dedicated an entire post to this topic, as not all kid's sunglasses are created equally. However, the two most important features to look for are 100% UV protection and polycarbonate lenses.
Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and lighter than other options. So, not only will your child be comfortable when wearing them (and may not even notice them at all), but these lenses are also deemed as the safest option as they will not shatter. You can even take a hammer to them and they will not break – a huge benefit, as children are always taking tumbles.
How much should I spend on my child’s sunglasses?
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. You can easily pick up a pair of itty bitty sunglasses for kids at the local corner store or dollar store. However, doing so is a huge risk, as limited information is often available about how the sunglasses were made, with what materials and often times, you don’t even know where or what type of factory conditions they were made in. Keep in mind that anyone can cut out some plastic, put a tint on it, pop it into frames and sell them as sunglasses, it’s crucial to always purchase sunglasses from a reputable brand.
It’s also important to remember that children's sunglasses must have, at the very least, 100% UV protection and be made with impact-resistant polycarbonate.
Add in the fact that you also want the sunglasses to be able to withstand your little one's energy levels and all the bumps and tumbles that come with it, you'll want a pair of sunglasses that are made for optimal durability. With that said, expect to pay around $50-$100 for children sunglasses, and more for prescription lenses or kids sunglasses with added features.
It may seem like a steep price to pay, especially if you’re convinced your child will lose them, break them, or worse, refuse to wear them all together. However, there are many different options for all of those concerns, such as a firm fit, cord attachments, and of course, practicing consistency.
The good news about paying more for quality kids sunglasses is that they should last longer than the cheap pairs you can find at the dollar store. So, you won’t have to replace them near as often, and as you likely already know, constantly replacing $1 sunglasses can quickly add up.
How can I get my child to wear sunglasses?
It’s funny – kids will put all kinds of things on their faces, such as markers, bugs, dirt, etc., but when it comes to something they have to put on their faces, such as sunscreen and sunglasses, it’s the end of the world.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a parent to encourage your child to wear sunglasses.
First, lead by example. Let them see that sunglasses are not only awesome but that protecting your eyes from the sun is just as cool. You may not always notice it, but your child mimics your behavior, and before you know it, they may be putting on sunglasses without a fight simply because Mom and Dad wear them.
Secondly, let them pick their sunglasses. This is an excellent way to get them excited about the whole ordeal.
Thirdly, if your child is absolutely adamant about keeping their sunglasses everywhere except their face, elastic bands for sunglasses are always a good alternative.
Another option you may want to try, depending on how old your children are, is to associate their sunglasses with a character they like on television or in the media.
Lastly, be consistent. Make it a rule that the sunglasses must go on (and stay on) in order to play outside. Eventually, your child will become used to wearing them and it will become second nature to them, just as is wearing a hat outside.
How can I prevent my child from losing their sunglasses?
Oh, the mystery of the lost belongings. Children will always know where the tiniest little crumb of chocolate is, but when it comes to something important, they have no idea where to even begin looking. The joys of parenthood.
Preventing your child from losing their sunglasses has a lot to do with teaching them new habits. Encourage them to always put their sunglasses back in the case as soon as they take them off, and to then put that case in the same place, such as in their backpack, room, etc.
You may also want to consider adding a cord attachment to the sunglasses (not all sunglasses come with the holes for the cord attachment, so this is something to consider prior to purchasing). That way, they can keep them their sunglasses on them at all times - indoors and out.
Another idea is to write your child’s name on the case or inside the frame so that if they do happen to get lost, there's a chance someone may find them.
To sum it up, children of all ages should be wearing sunglasses because their eyes are incredibly vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. With the right pair of kids sunglasses (and some consistency from Mom and Dad), wearing them can quickly become as normal as wearing a hat when going outdoors.
So, start your venture here. Head on over to Julbo Canada and explore the endless styles of kids sunglasses and remember, let your little one choose which one they like to help them get excited about wearing them.