Why Are Sunglasses For Kids Important?

When we think about sun protection for our eyes, we often associate it with being an adult. However, sunglasses aren’t just for grown-ups – in fact, they might be even more critical for children.

Let’s explore why sunglasses for kids are important, and how they can benefit from early protection against harmful UV rays.

The dangers of UV exposure

dangers of UV exposure

There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that can cause significant damage to our eyes in the short term and cumulatively over time: UVA and UVB. Conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are linked to prolonged UV exposure.

Alarmingly, up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation occurs before the age of 18. Despite this, only 5% of adults report that their child “always” wears sunglasses when outside.

Why kids need sunglasses

kids need sunglasses

Aside from the style factor, there are plenty of reasons why your little ones should wear sunglasses when they’re out and about. Just like sunscreen, sunglasses are essential outdoors.

Here are some of the main reasons why:

1. Protection from UV exposure – Children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to UV damage because they are not yet fully developed. To illustrate, the lens in a child’s eye, which acts as a natural filter to protect against UV rays, is clearer than an adult’s. This allows more light to enter, and since children’s pupils are generally more dilated, even more UV rays can penetrate.

Additionally, kids spend a significant amount of time outdoors, often without adequate eye protection. Even on slightly overcast days, UV rays can reach their eyes and cause damage, making children’s sunglasses for UV protection absolutely crucial to wear.

2. Reducing long-term risks – Prolonged exposure to UV radiation over the years can increase the risk of developing eye conditions such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts. AMD affects the macula at the back of the eye and can lead to loss of central vision in later life, while cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, impairing vision.

Protecting children’s eyes from an early age can help reduce the risk of these conditions developing in the future.

3. Protection from the elements—Sunglasses are crucial for shielding kids’ eyes from UV rays, but their benefits extend beyond that. They also offer a barrier against debris, dust, and wind, which can irritate and damage young eyes. This added protection is invaluable as children’s outdoor activities expose them to various environmental elements.

4. Eye strain – Sunglasses also help alleviate eye strain by reducing exposure to bright light, reducing squinting and potentially sun-induced headaches.

Choosing the right sunglasses for kids

sunglasses for kids


When it comes to choosing non-prescription or prescription sunglasses for kids, you should take several important factors into consideration.

Ensuring they are durable is paramount, as this will ensure they can withstand their outdoor adventures.

Additionally, selecting sunglasses that are comfortable and fit securely guarantees that your child will wear them consistently, providing UV protection throughout the day.

Here are some of our top recommendations for choosing kid’s sunglasses:

1. Polycarbonate lenses – these are an excellent choice as they are 10 times more impact-resistant than regular lenses. This means they can withstand the rough and tumble of daily wear and tear, ensuring your child’s eyes remain protected during their activities. You can check out our high-quality polycarbonate sunglasses lens options here.

2. Photochromic lenses – for ultimate convenience and protection, consider photochromic lenses. They adapt to changing light conditions when exposed to UV outdoors, darkening quickly and fading back to clear glasses lenses indoors.

Your child’s eyes will always remain protected, and they won’t have to worry about swapping their glasses for sunglasses every time they want to go outside. Explore our range of photochromic lenses here.

3. Polarized lenses – These are another excellent option as they eliminate bright glare that reflects off surfaces like water, roads and snow. This enhances visual comfort, color contrast, and improves their clarity, allowing kids to see more clearly and comfortably during their activities. You can opt for polarized sunglasses for kids that already have 100% UV protection built into them. View our selection of polarized lenses here.

The importance of regular eye exams

regular eye exams

Before purchasing sunglasses, it’s essential that your child’s prescription is up to date. Regular eye exams with your trusted eye doctor assess their eye health in detail and their vision, so you can then get your child vision correction if necessary or update their prescription if it has changed.

If your child hasn’t had an eye exam in over a year or has never had one before, call your eye doctor to schedule one before investing in a new pair of sunglasses.

Setting an example to build healthy habits

A great way to help children develop healthy sun habits from an early age is to set a good example by wearing your own shades in front of them and explaining why it’s so important to do so.

If they show resistance to wearing sunglasses, involving them in the selection process can be helpful. When they love the style and color of their sunglasses, they’re more likely to wear them consistently.

Additional sun protection tips

sun protection

To further reduce their UV exposure, have your kids wear hats and sunscreen to shield their eyes and surrounding skin from all angles.

Shop kids sunglasses

Sunglasses are a vital tool in protecting your child’s eye health. With the right pair of sunglasses, you can significantly reduce the risk of UV-related eye conditions and protect against environmental elements. By taking proactive steps now, you can help your child’s eyes remain healthy and protected for years to come.

Wondering where to buy kid’s sunglasses? We offer a wide range of high-quality prescription sunglasses for kids, and sunglass lens options to accommodate their active lifestyles, like highly impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses.

Start browsing our kid’s frames and lens options today.