sunglasses for toddler

What is the best Sunglasses For Toddler? Our team has researched and reviewed these toddler sunglasses girl and toddler sunglasses with strap options to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a toddler sunglasses amazon shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying an unbreakable toddler sunglasses.

Do children need sunglasses?

Yes, they absolutely do. Damage to eyes from exposure to the suns harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is cumulative over our lifetime.

Because kids spend much more time outdoors than most adults do, sunglasses that block 100 percent UV are especially important for children.

Some experts estimate that up to half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation occurs by age 18. If this is true, sunglasses may be more important for children than most people imagine.

Sunglasses For Toddler

Sunglasses for kids

Wearing sunglasses during childhood may play an important role in preventing eye problems later in life that have been associated with cumulative UV exposure, including cataracts and pterygia.

Boy wearing sunglasses on a snowy mountain

Sunglasses help protect children’s eyes from UV rays and glare, whether it’s a sunny day at the beach or a cloudy day on a snowy mountaintop. Make sure your child’s sunglass lenses are made of a shatter-resistant material such as polycarbonate.

And UV rays aren’t the only potential danger from sunlight.

Recently, researchers have suggested that long-term exposure to high-energy visible blue light from sunlight might also cause eye damage over time, including increasing the risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Children’s eyes are more susceptible to UV and blue light than adult eyes because the lens inside a child’s eye is less capable of filtering these high-energy rays. This is especially true for young children, so it’s wise for kids to start wearing protective sunglasses outdoors as early in life as possible.

Also, be aware that your child’s exposure to UV rays increases at high altitudes, in tropical locales and in highly reflective environments (such as in a snowfield, on the water or on a sandy beach). Protective sunwear is especially important for kids in these situations.

Choosing sunglass lens colors

The level of UV protection sunglasses provide has nothing to do with the color of the lenses.

As long as your optician certifies that the lenses block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays, the choice of color and tint density is a matter of personal preference.

Most sunglass lenses that block the sun’s HEV rays are amber or copper in color. By blocking blue light, these lenses also enhance contrast.

Another great option is eyeglasses with photochromic lenses, which are clear indoors and darken automatically in sunlight. Photochromic lenses eliminate the need for a separate pair of sunglasses for kids  who need glasses for vision correction and are available in a variety of lens materials and colors.

All photochromic lenses block 100 percent UV and provide ample protection from high-energy visible blue light.

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Where to buy kids’ sunglasses

Children’s sunglasses can be purchased from a variety of places, including your eye doctor’s office, online retailers, eyewear stores and sunglass specialty stores.

Wherever you go, look for a good selection of sunglass frames scaled specifically for a child’s facial dimensions. Also, choose polycarbonate lenses for the best combination of lightweight comfort and impact resistance for added safety.

Finally, inquire about product warranties and satisfaction guarantees before you purchase sunglasses for children.

Don’t forget the accessories

During the selection and fitting of your child’s sunglasses, the optician should explain the benefits of the sunglasses and how to care for them.

Often, the optician will include or recommend cleaning cloths, solutions and a protective, hard-shell case to store the sunglasses in when they are not worn.

Sunglass cords also are a good idea. These can be attached to the temples of the sunglasses so that when removed (or knocked off), the sunglasses can hang from the neck and not get lost or damaged.

Start with an eye exam

Before buying sunglasses for children, schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you.

Kids’ eyes can change quickly during the school years and having an up-to-date eyeglass prescription (if needed) is the first step to helping your child see as clearly and comfortably as possible outdoors.

How to choose sunglasses for kids

Kids’ eyes need protection from UV rays. But is a wide-brimmed hat good enough? How do you choose the right sunglasses? And how do you get your kids to keep them on? An optician and mom of two explains.

By Jaclyn LawMay 10, 2019

Photo: iStockphoto

Thanks to widespread awareness about the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) rays, most parents are vigilant about protecting kids’ skin with sunblock, hats and clothing. But what’s often left out of the mix is a good pair of sunglasses—and that can spell future vision problems. We asked Yasmeen Syed, a licensed optician, instructor at Seneca College’s opticianry program and mom of two in Mississauga, Ont., for tips on choosing children’s sunglasses.

Do kids need to wear sunglasses?

Children are more susceptible to damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can penetrate deep into the eye and increase the onset of problems like macular degeneration, cataracts and surface eye diseases. It’s really important we protect their vision, especially because kids spend lots of time outside and their eyes haven’t fully developed yet. They need sunglasses that protect against 100% of UVA and UVB rays, even on cloudy or overcast days—the rays penetrate through the clouds year-round.

When should kids start wearing sunglasses?

I’d say two-and-a-half to three years old. When they’re younger than that, it’s physically difficult to do, but it gets easier as they get older.

Is a wide-brimmed hat an acceptable alternative to sunglasses?

A wide-brimmed hat is a good idea, but it won’t replace sunglasses. The sun will reflect off the sidewalk, sand, water or snow from below, so it’s still getting into their eyes.

Don’t we need sunshine to generate vitamin D?

A little bit of sunlight is good for all of us, but if children are playing outside for extended periods of time, that’s intense, and their eyes need to be protected. Just like we protect our skin with sunscreen, we need to protect our eyes with glasses.

How to choose sunglasses for kids?

The material of the lenses should be polycarbonate, which is ideal for children: it’s impact-resistant and lighter than standard lenses, and polycarbonate itself is UV protective. A large frame always provides the best protection, with temples that are a little wider to prevent peripheral sun from getting in. Not only does it block the most UV, but it keeps out sand and debris. The frame should be close-fitting and flexible—look for spring hinges that extend beyond 90 degrees, so they’re less likely to break. Kids tend to be rough with their glasses.

Are prescription sunglasses for kids a good idea?

If your child wears prescription glasses, you can get them a second pair with tinted polycarbonate lenses, or you can get photochromic lenses that change from light to dark to avoid having two pairs to keep track of. They won’t replace a good pair of sunglasses, but it’s better than not wearing anything. They do provide full UV protection, but sunglasses tend to be bigger and give you a little more wrap.

How much should parents expect to spend on good-quality children’s sunglasses?

You’re probably looking at about $70 to $140, and prescription lenses will cost more. What you want to avoid is low-quality sunglasses, like those stands of sunglasses at big-box stores. A lot of times, there’s a sticker that says “Blocks UV rays.” Be wary of stuff like that—avoid glasses that don’t specify the percentage of UV blocked. Also, with those cheap sunglasses, the lenses aren’t optometry grade—they might be too thin, or distorted, and your child might not want to wear them because their vision is affected. If you go to the dollar store, you might find glasses imported from who knows where, and they might contain lead in the frame or hinges. They’re not good quality, so you might go through several pairs. It’s better to invest in a good-quality pair and make sure your child’s eyes are protected.

How can parents encourage kids to wear their sunglasses?

It’s important for family members to lead by example. If parents are wearing sunglasses and putting a hat on when they go out in the summer, children are more likely to mimic that behaviour. And let the child have input into choosing the glasses, so they’re committed – they like the style, they helped choose it, they’re excited about it. There’s been a huge burst of children’s glasses coming on the market. Ray-Ban has a new collection, just like the adult version but for kids—which is good, because they’re mimicking what their parents are wearing. You can also use elastic bands to provide a snug fit, so kids can play hands-free and the glasses will stay on.

I make it a rule at my house. When we go outside, everybody has their glasses on. Getting my five-year-old son into that routine was difficult, but he really likes Bruno Mars, who’s always wearing sunglasses and a hat, so I got him the sunglasses, and I had to get him the hat too—it was the look he was after! Now he wears these cute little Ray-Bans and he’s just used to them.

Any tips on preventing kids from losing their sunglasses?

Encourage them to put their sunglasses back in the case when they take them off, and that case should have a spot—in their desk at school, on the console table when they get home, or in their room. If there’s a spot for everything, things are less likely to get lost. You could also put a label with your child’s name inside the temple or on the case.

Read more:

10 best sunglasses for kids to protect them from harmful rays

You assiduously slather them in sun cream and cram hats on their heads, but do you give their eyes the same protection? We’ve got it sorted

When it comes to protection against the sun’s powerful rays, parents can never be too careful.

While we’re all pretty clued up when it comes to sunscreens, sunglasses for kids can tend to be something of a blind spot for parents and carers (no pun intended).

Damage done to a child’s retinas is cumulative – and can cause all sorts of ailments from cataracts to cancer, so it really is essential that they are protected by sunglasses which adequately filter out the sun.

But what to look for?

Firstly, and most importantly, protection from UV rays is essential. Ideally, sunnies will offer 100 per cent protection against UV rays – meaning absolutely no UV light will pass through the lenses.

Some glasses will offer slightly less protection than 100 per cent – and these are acceptable, while others are purely ornamental props which are not to be trusted to be of any use.

Read more

It is worth saying that in many cases, even very cheap sunglasses offer decent protection – which is hugely relieving and an assurance that even if you are on a budget you won’t have to compromise on health.

Very small children often take against sunglasses, whipping them off and discarding them just as soon as they are put on, so it is always worth either opting for a pair which have an integral strap, or that come with a cord so that at least if they come off they won’t be completely lost!

In each case, we looked at the strength and flexibility of the frame – before any children had got their mitts on them. Did they feel malleable? Was the part which bridges the nose soft? What about the arms? Were they curved or straight? The glasses were used on a handful of children aged between 14 months and nine years old. 

We asked each child if they felt comfortable or not, and when we removed the glasses checked for marks on the bridge of their noses or behind their ears which might indicate an unwelcome tightness. 

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent. 

Sun Kids lemonade sunglasses: £25, Izipizi

We loved these sunglasses which boast a frame that manages to feel soft and malleable while still being ultra-resistant to snaps and breaks. The frame is also BPA-free and hypoallergenic. We noticed that the arms are straight, without the usual “behind the ear” hook that most shades have, and discovered that this is to follow a little one’s growth. The lenses are polarised and “category three”, meaning they filter 100 per cent of the ultraviolet rays.

The “lemonade” was our hue of choice but if yellow doesn’t make you mellow there is a massive swatch of other colours like “orange firework” and “marine blue” to choose from. Our little tester of just three was obsessed by the packaging, a smart tray box inside which was a soft felt pouch to keep her shades safe. Really smart, clever sunnies.

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Babiators original keyhole sunglasses: £22.50, Babiatiors

Our three-year-old tester loved her turquoise pair (not least because they came with a durable case complete with a metal clip which can hook onto bag or buggy). They stayed comfortably in place without pinching or nipping the skin on her nose or near her ears.

They are also extremely lightweight, so unlike some cheaper brands, little ones won’t find them falling down their noses every two seconds. The frames are rubber. making them both flexible and durable – and almost immune to any breakages. It’s a huge relief to let a toddler play with sunglasses safe in the knowledge that they really won’t break!

Babiators have UV400 lenses that offer 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection against the sun’s rays as well as a one-year warranty against both breakage and loss.

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Next heart sunglasses: £5, Next

These shades are so much fun, with a quirky retro vibe for children aged 18 months to six years. They offer filter category-three protection against the sun’s rays, which is pretty high. Our two-year-old tester adored these, and at this price you won’t find yourself freaking out if (read: when) one of the arms gets snapped off by an overzealous toddler.

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Sunnylife pineapple sunglasses: £7, Sunnylife

Although these sunnies, with the rainbow sheen lenses, look like too much fun to offer anything serious like sun protection, actually, they absolutely do: rated UV 380, which is just short of 100 per cent. For children aged four and older, these will be a huge hit at the beach, barbecues or anywhere where merriment is the order of the day.

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Jojo Maman Bebe baby and children’s sunglasses: £7, Jojo Maman Bebe

We plumped for the red, but there are four other colours to choose from including a hot pink and understated black. The plastic lenses are UV 400, so offer complete protection against the sun. We particularly liked how the lenses curved slightly round, offering decent cover to the outer corners of the eyes of our three-year-old tester. We found that these were snug and secure around the head of our tester, but had they not been, it’s good to know Jojo offers a sunglasses strap, too.

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Adventure banz green camo sunglasses: £10, Banz

Suitable for babies and children up to the age of five, these look like a rather brilliant cross between swimming goggles and wraparound sports sunnies. As the name suggests these glasses lend themselves to action and movement and are perfect for little ones with ants in their pants who like running, biking, paddling and rough and tumble. The strap around the back of the head remains in place – we barely had to readjust it to our 14-month-old tester.

They are 100 per cent UVA/UVB protective. We were really impressed by the embedded silicone nose and brow piece which ensure they aren’t abrasive against the face and actually feel soft and comfortable on young skin. We loved the camo green version, although there’s a wealth of styles to choose from.

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Suneez vedra sunglasses: £25, Suneez

These are said to be “virtually unbreakable” thanks to being created out of a flexible material which bends easily but won’t snap. And, we have to say, we gave them a run for their money – all sorts of pushing and pulling and misuse resulted in, well, no damage. This is of course extremely reassuring given how much potential there is for children to damage their own property all the livelong day.

They also block 100 per cent of all harmful rays. We were pretty impressed with the microfibre pouch which not only protects the glasses but doubles up as a handy cleaning cloth. Be gone sticky paw prints! We loved the dual colourways – very cool and not easy to misplace (plus each pair of glasses comes with a strap).

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RayBan new wayfarer junior sunglasses: £60, RayBan

Suitable for older children, aged between eight and 12 years old (’tis a brave, stupid or eye-poppingly rich parent who would merrily give a small child a pair of terribly expensive shades), this junior version of Rayban’s most well-known style is just as cool. Square lenses, snug fit and complete protection from UV rays, these are really beautiful shades for very cool kids. There are no fewer than 18 colourways to choose from, but we think black is the most stylish.

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Ki Et La Jokakids kids sunglasses: £21, Kidly

These grow with your child, such is the flexibility of these ergonomic aviators which don’t put pressure on the bridge or squash the temples. Plus, they are virtually unbreakable. They boast 100 per cent UVA and UVB sun protection. The anti-blue light filter also reduces glare. Perfect for children aged four to six. The glasses also come with a cord which will greatly reduce the possibility of misplacement.

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Sainsburys Tu cat eye sunglasses: £4, Sainsburys

Any fashionista would be happy with this eyewear: cat-eye shape with a gloss tortoiseshell finish. These are fabulously ostentatious but not only do they look super chic, they offer 100 per cent UV protection. And all this for just £4. You really can’t say fairer than that.

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The verdict: Kids sunglasses

Izipizi’s sunglasses come top for us – not least because a stranger approached us and asked whether we knew if they came in adult sizes. These are smart, quality, clever and comfortable – well worth the cash. But a close second would have to be the Tu cat eye shades – tres chic.

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