Once the school bell rings on the final day each June, it's incredibly likely that you'll find my little boy outside. Between camps, visits with grandparents, and weekends at the neighborhood pool, we spend a ton of time out in the sun. He's incredibly fair - blonde hair, blue eyes, and lots of sweet freckles - so sunscreen and hats have always been an integral part of our summer days.
However, he's not a sunglasses wearer. He has some that we've picked up because they have the super hero of the year, or they make him look cool, but I am sad to say until reading this Wall Street Journal article the other day, it hadn't crossed my mind how important it is for his eyes to be protected too.
According to the article, less than half of parents enforce sunglass wearing (guilty!), and that's a problem. It's estimated that 25% of a person's UV exposure happens by the time they turn 18, as kids get 3 times the annual exposure. Additionally, kids don't filter the UV rays at the same level as adults.
This increased exposure can lead to cancer of the eye or eyelids, and increases the potential to have cataracts later in life.
The article referenced a couple options when it came to good glasses for the kid crowd, noting that they've come a long way recently, but I still reached out to my trusty mom community for advice on the best sunglasses for little kids, and got some good input.
Chili's Jump Polarized Sunglasses- these got pretty good reviews from both the moms I talked to and the reviews on the site, and at that price point, you could grab a couple pairs. I suspect it wouldn't take us long to scratch them up!
A little bit higher on the price spectrum, and more my 7 year old's style than mine, the Rawlings Kids' Baseball sunglasses were recommended by a friend. Her son is an avid baseball player and wore them until he had to get prescription lenses recently. She said they stayed on without slipping and provided good coverage for sports and the pool.
One mom referenced seeing some that looked "better than your typical drugstore sunglasses" at her local Whole Foods.
For the younger babies and toddlers, the "Babiators" got raves.
Julbo Eyewear Solan Kids Sunglasses seem to me toward the top of my list. The ones for the younger kids include the head strap, and they really seem to have good coverage - I think we'll probably try these.
One more vote (with a couple here, heres!) included Ray Bans. I don't think I am ready to bite the bullet and spend that much on sunglasses for my careless guy, but they are really cool. I love my Aviators!
It seems that vision centers and opthamology practices have some good Rx lens options, too. Many available without needing Rx lenses - so check with your eye doctor for what's best for your tot.
Do you have any sunglasses for kids that you'd recommend? What else do you do to keep your kids' eyes protected from the sun? Please share in the comments!