How to Choose Sunglasses for Your Child

Jun 07, 2010
Many people are aware of the dangers of the UV exposure, which include skin cancer and premature skin ageing. But few people realize that we need to protect our eyes from sun damage just as much as our skin. This is especially important for children, who are more susceptible to UV exposure, because their eyes are not mature enough to filter UV rays. Besides children tend to spend more time outdoors, which increases exposure time and heightens the risk of developing various eye problems.

The best way to protect children's eyes during summer time is to use sunglasses. Here are the top recommendations to choose the right sunglasses for your child.

1. UV protection

First thing you have to pay attention to is the UV protection of the sunglasses for your child. Unlike the common belief UV protection of the sunglasses does not depend on such factors as the color, the price or the darkness of the lenses. You should look at the sunglasses labeling that says that the lenses block from 99 to 100 percent of the UVA and UVB light. You may also find sunglasses for your child with labels saying "UV 400", which means the same as 100 percent UV protection.

2. Sunglasses lenses type

Both plastic and glass lenses offer some protection from UV rays, but the best UV protection is mainly due to the higher-quality material or the special lens coating. Polycarbonate lenses are often used in sunglasses for children as they effectively protect from UV rays and are durable and impact-resistant. Photochromic lenses that change their color according to diiferent light conditions is also a good option for UV protection. Polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare. Mirror-coated lenses help to limit visible light for added comfort.

3. Sunglasses color

Many people think that the darker lenses offer more protection from UV rays, which is not true. It's a matter of your child preferences to choose the color of the sunglasses lenses. Many sunglasses with high UV protection are amber or copper-colored, because they provide better contrast, which is a benefit for outdoor activities and sports.

4. Sunglasses style

There is a wide variety of styles for children sunglasses available on the market. Look at the material of the sunglasses frame. For example, you may choose rubber frame that is more comfortable to wear for your child. Wraparound sunglasses are also very popular for children as they add UV protection by blocking UV rays from entering around the frame.

5. Sun protection for children with eyeglasses

If your child already wears eyeglasses, you may consider different options for UV protection. You can order prescription sunglasses, eyeglasses with photochromic lenses that change their color their color based on the amount of light they are exposed to and also offer 100 percent UV protection. Clip-ons is another choice for children with eyeglasses. These are lenses with UV protection that are attached with metal clips or magnetically to the frame.