Five Features of Children’s Sunwear that are Musts

In addition to having lenses that block 100 percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and a significant amount of potentially harmful blue light, children’s sunglasses should also have these features:

  1. Impact-resistant lenses.The best lenses for children’s sunglasses are made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than standard plastic lenses for superior eye protection during sports and other play. Polycarbonate lenses also are lighter than glass or standard plastic lenses for greater wearing comfort.
  2. Large, close-fitting frame.For the best protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and to keep dust and other debris from getting in your child’s eyes, a relatively large yet close-fitting frame is the best design for children’s sunglasses.
  3. “Unbreakable” frame material.Look for children’s sunglasses that have flexible frames to avoid breakage and potential eye or facial injury from a frame that snaps upon impact.
  4. Spring hinges.Hinges that extend beyond 90 degrees and have a spring action to keep the fit of the frame snug will decrease the risk of your child’s sunglasses falling off or getting damaged during sports and other play.
  5. An elastic band.An elastic band that attaches to the end of each of the frame’s earpieces can help prevent loss or damage to children’s sunglasses. Choices include a close-fitting band to keep the frame snugly attached to the head during active sports or a looser-fitting strap to allow your child to remove his or her sunglasses yet keep them hanging from the neck for easy on-and-off use. However, avoid the use of a band or cord that might pose a choking risk for an unattended infant or toddler.

For superior UV protection, it’s a good idea for kids to wear a wide-brimmed hat as well as sunglasses when spending a lot of time outdoors on sunny days. Researchers say a hat that shades the eyes and face can cut the amount of UV exposure in half. And don’t forget the sunscreen, too!

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