Parenting

The 11 Best Sunglasses For Toddlers, According To An Expert

COASION sunglasses for toddlers
COASION sunglasses for toddlers

There’s arguably nothing cuter than a toddler in sunglasses. When their tiny, adorable faces rock a rad pair of shades, they instantly turn into a very cool person you want to grab coffee and a croissant with. But aside from sunglasses being awesome, they also serve an important purpose — to protect your toddler’s eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. (Sunglasses for babies are just as important.)

Dr. Bradley Katz, professor and neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Utah Medical Center and CEO of Axon Optics, tells Scary Mommy that “the lens in a toddler’s eye allows up to 70% more UV rays to pass through compared to the lens in an adult’s eye. These UV rays can in turn damage the cells in the eyes, and the lens is unable to repair itself. This means that the damage can accumulate over a lifetime.”

What type of sunglasses are best for toddlers?

Being proactive about sun protection and having your child wear a hat is a good start, but UV rays can reflect off the pavement, sand, water, and snow — all of which can damage the eyes, Katz says. Polarized lenses help filter out harsh glares and can be beneficial, but they aren’t essential. It’s most important for sunglasses to have at least a UV400 rating, which specifies that the lenses block 99-100% of light with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, including UVA and UVB rays, the two most harmful kinds of UV light.

One of the great things about sunglasses designed specifically for toddlers is that most of them are extremely durable — dare we say unbreakable. Since we all know how destructive toddlers can be (said in the most loving way, of course), bendable sunglasses work best.

Katz suggests polycarbonate lenses “as they tend to be more impact-resistant and hence more durable. Ideally, the lenses should be scratch-resistant.” But let’s get real about toddlers, when it comes to sunglasses, comfort is key, so it’s important to find a style they’ll actually wear. Look for pairs that are lightweight with a snug fit — and options that come with straps will save you from having to restock when the inevitable pair falls off when you’re not looking.

Take a look at the 11 best sunglasses for toddlers below.

Kids’ Polarized Sunglasses

Unbreakable Sunglasses for Toddlers

Toddler Sunglasses with Straps

SHOP THE STORY