Eyewear Sun-Protection for Babies and Toddlers

By: Anthony Tangeman

If you spend time outside, it’s a good idea to invest in some form of sunglasses. This is true no matter your age, but this is especially true for babies and toddlers as they are helpless against the sun and its harsh light. If left unprotected, your child’s eyesight can become permanently damaged.

– If you would like to read about why UV protection is so important for babies and toddlers, follow the link to our blog here –

There’s no need to worry as there are plenty of options to consider. While this may seem daunting at first, choosing a pair of sunglasses for your child does not need to be difficult. The most important thing is to think of your child’s needs.

For example, a child that is only occasionally outside would likely benefit from having photochromic lenses, or lenses that adapt to incoming light. Photochromics are not only effective, but also convenient. The most popular photochromic lenses are transitions and drive-wear.

Transition lenses are normally clear, just like regular glasses. Once you go outside, UV rays from the sun activate the lenses and they start to darken. How dark and the color they become depends on your specific lens. The activation time on transition lenses is quite fast, which make them quite good for people who go from indoors to outdoors frequently.

Drive-wear is similar to transition lenses in that they become darker when exposed to light. However, there are quite a few differences to consider. Drive-wear by default has a slight tint to it, which makes them less suitable indoors. In addition, drive-wear lenses activate not only by UV rays but also by visible light. If your child has mild light sensitivity, drive-wear may be a good option since the lenses will usually be activated to some degree, offering relief from light.

In most cases I would personally recommend regular photochromic or transition lenses. From my experience transition lenses when not activated are just like regular, clear lenses. When activated they provide decent protection from the sun. Unlike drive-wear, transitions are perfect for indoors. Whether you go with transitions or drive-wear, your child will only have to wear one pair of glasses whether they are outdoors or indoors, which can be very convenient.

On the other hand, your child might spend a great deal of time outside. Perhaps your family lives in a sunny area, or maybe your child plays sports outside. They would greatly benefit from having a dedicated pair of sunglasses.

In this case I would highly recommend looking into polarized lenses with amber blue-blockers. Polarization is great for blocking glare, especially when looking at long horizontal surfaces such as roads, fields, or water. The amber blue-blockers describe the tint to the lens, which as the name suggests blocks blue light. These lenses increase contrast which can be quite helpful for sports or other activities that require hand-eye coordination. Other effects include more natural looking colors, and a more comfortable viewing experience while outdoors.

For most people I highly recommend having a pair of glasses for indoors and one for outdoors. Consider using transitions as the indoor glasses as they just as fine indoors compared to regular glasses but also offer sun protection while outside. Also, while not covered in this blog post, look into different tints for sunglasses and see what would be best for your child. Different color tints are more useful in certain situations.

In short, it’s all about providing the best protection for your child. The best way to do that is to consider what would benefit your child the most. If you need help figuring this out, ask your local optometrist for their opinion, or even ask us! We’re more than happy to help point you in the right direction. As always, thank you for reading!

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