Best Sunglasses for Kids

Most people ignore getting their children sunglasses. They believe that the kids need to “get used” to seeing in sunlight, and that it will help them in life. Or, if they do get sunglasses for their kids, they get some cheapo models from the gas station or the end cap at a store somewhere for a few bucks. This is an absolutely wrong approach, since children need eye protection and protection from the sun even more than we do! Eye damage from UV light is the one thing that parents consistently let happen to their children, when they try to shield them from everything else. Fortunately, this is easily changed, as there are many models and types of sunglasses for your kids. Here's how to find the Best sunglasses for your kids this season!

The Protection

The best kid’s sunglasses will incorporate as much eye protection as possible. The lenses should always be 100 percent UVA and UVB radiation blockers. They should definitely be shatter resistant, and should have a pretty hefty coating for anti-scratch properties. Remember, these sunglasses are for kids, and more so than most adults, kids spend a LOT of time getting dirty, playing with sticks, stones, mud, sand, you name it. They are usually much more high energy than us, and it shows based upon the wear they put on clothes and sunglasses! Shatterproof Lenses are even more important the younger you go, for the simple fact that balance and depth perception gets better with age in the young, so younger kids are more prone to fall or get hit with a fake sword when playing.

Properties of Great Children’s Sunglasses

Some of the properties of kids’ sunglasses should be a bit different than the average adults. Protection part aside, the only recommended, lens tint color for kids’ sunglasses is neutral gray. While we have a good idea of the world around us and what the colors of objects should be, children are still learning and making cognitive associations between all of their senses. Having a different shade of lens other than gray will begin to challenge those associations beneath the conscious radar, and can be confusing or even in some cases damaging (read colorblind children: at least 1 out of every 10 boys) to cognitive color association growth.

Another popular sunglass lens property, polarized lenses, is not recommended for children. Again going back to the fact that they are learning depth perception, and their bodies are in a constant state of growth flux and readjustment, lens polarization adds the slightest bit of depth perception skewing. While as adults we can compensate for that as we are in a more or less settled state (Same length arms and legs and height for many years) children can come across the same problem as with non-gray tinted lenses, that it will fool their brains a bit and introduce another element that they don’t need in their learning and growth systems.

The final thing to consider is amount of light pass through. This feature, for adults, is usually 15 to 30%, meaning that much light makes it through the lens to your eyes. On children, however, this amount is raised slightly, usually going from 25 to 45 percent. These percentages are enough to help children on a sunny day and protect their eyes, yet be minimalistic in their views so as not to be irritating when playing.

Keeping Them On

One final consideration with children’s sunglasses is keeping them on the kids’ heads! Construction matters even more for kids, and features like thin wire frames and super-thin arms shouldn’t be used. Thicker frames that are rubberized on the arms for grip, are comfortable on your kid’s head for long periods of time. There are also many behind-the-neck straps available as aftermarket solutions if your child is very active. A good pair for summer will also include floating capability, for those who hit the water frequently.

Go with Style

Kids can afford much more crazy styling than we can, so really, in terms of style, the world is your oyster. There is a full gamut of offerings for children, and fortunately they are usually cheaper than adult sunglasses. Try them out with your little one to see if they like them, and you can have a number of sunglasses, a pair for different modes, playing, travelling, swimming, etc. Good luck on your hunt for the best sunglasses for your kid!