Look At Those Shades! Protecting Baby And Toddler Eyes With Sunglasses

Posted on: 4 August 2015


You work hard to keep your baby safe and healthy and wouldn't dream of putting him at risk. Sunscreen and protective clothing are probably the first things you think of when you head outside for some fun in the sun. You may not realize that your baby or toddler's eyes may be at risk from the sun's rays. That's why little ones need a good pair of sunglasses. Follow these tips for choosing the right shades for babies and toddlers and teaching them to wear them too.

What to Look for in Baby & Toddler Sunglasses

Sunglasses quell the glare of the sun making it easier to see on a bright, sunny day. But, that's not the only reason your baby or toddler needs sunglasses. Exposure to the sun's rays now can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration in later years, explains Parents.com.

  • Choose sunglasses that filter out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. These ultraviolet rays contribute to both cataracts and skin cancer.
  • Look for an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) general-purpose rating. These lenses are medium to dark and are suitable for any outdoor activity.
  • Choose gray, green or brown lenses as these are best a blocking the light while maintaining a clear image.
  • Check the glasses for distortions in vision. Hold the lenses out at arm's length and view the world through them. Move the glasses from side to side to determine if there are any distortions created by the curve of the lens. A good pair of sunglasses provides a clear, undistorted view through all sections of the lenses.

Fitting the Sunglasses

Let's face it, babies love to take their glasses off and toddlers won't wear them if they are uncomfortable. To ensure your little one keeps his sunglasses on, you need to pay close attention to how well they fit.

  • Choose sunglasses with a back strap that fits snugly and comfortably for babies. This makes removing them more difficult and encourages baby to keep them on.
  • For toddlers, choose sunglasses that fit snugly and stay in place as your little one runs and plays. Check that they do not slip off when he tips his head down or shakes it from side to side. Check that the glasses do not leave red marks on the nose or at the temples, as this indicates the glasses are too tight.

Encouraging Little Ones to Wear Sunglasses

Teaching your baby or toddler to wear sunglasses whenever he is out in the sun is an important life lesson. Try these tricks for improving compliance.

  • Fit your baby to sunglasses when he is 6 months old and put them on him whenever you go out in the sun. This conditions your baby to expect sunglasses whenever he is out in the sun. Put them on as you head out the door and remove them promptly when inside. Expecting baby to wait with his glasses on while you finish last minute details or making him wait when you come back inside limits his vision and may set the stage for a dislike of sunglasses.
  • Let your toddler help you pick out her sunglasses. When she feels she is part of the decision, she is more likely to want to wear them. Buying more than one pair and letting her choose which she will wear may also increase her compliance.
  • Set a good example by wearing your own sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun. When children see parents practicing what they preach, they are more likely to comply.

If your little one balks at wearing sunglasses, buy a big floppy hat to keep the sun from his eyes until he learns to keep the sunglasses on.