“We know that 80 per cent of your lifetime exposure in the eye happens before 18, so it’s essential for children to stay protected from UV,” says Victoria O’Connor, an optometrist at Boots UK. “Mums and dads will put sun cream on kids, but we are trying to educate them to pop sunglasses on as well as it gives them more protection than you could realise.”
The most important thing to consider, according to Victoria, is that your kids’ glasses have CE Marked labels to guarantee UV protection. “People are finally grasping the long-term risks of sun exposure to skin, but what many people don’t realise is that exposure of the eyes to the sun across a lifetime can be related to macular degeneration.”
We’ve rounded up a collection of pairs that offer 100% UV protection, also testing for comfort, durability and style. Here’s our verdict.
1. Frosted Sunglasses: £12, boden.co.uk
These show-stopper glasses come in frosted pink plastic with blue arms and have total UV protection. Designed for children aged three to 12, they are comfortable, durable and come in a bright paisley soft case.
2. Baby and Toddler Sunglasses: £6, jojomamanbebe.co.uk
These are great value and come in a range of colours, including fuchsia, pink, black, blue and red. Available in three different sizes – 0-2, 2-4 and 4-6 – they have a lovely snug fit and, if you’re still not convinced they’ll stay on, another £3 will buy you the strap to secure them.
3. RayBan Wayfarer: £60, visionexpress.com
Style-conscious kids will love these and, while they’re pricey, they will genuinely last for years. Indeed, we found the lenses withstood a lot more child's play than other pairs we tried in this price bracket and, particularly impressively, Vision Express only sell them in store so they can ensure a perfect fit for your child.
In store only
4. Julbo POP: £15.31, koolsun.co.uk
French brand Julbo have been producing high-end sunglasses for extreme sports and athletes since the 19th century, focusing on protecting eyes from bright mountain light with the highest protection lenses possible. Good news for tiny tots is that they now offer the same technology in super-durable glasses for children, too.
5. JBanz: £15, babybanz.com
Available in a wide range of colours and styles, these are both fashionable and offer protection from the sun that’s second-to-none, thanks to the wrap-around style and polarised lenses, with high sun glare reduction and full UV protection. Best for four- to 10-year-olds.
6. Savannah Kids Designer Sunglasses: £15, selectspecs.com
These frames have a slight rubberised feel to them, helping them stay on active kids’ faces, and come in pink, blue or orange. They are designed to block out sunlight around the sides of the lenses and they have extra protection against glare, which is great when they're near or on the water.
7. Monkey Monkey Wayfarer: £13.50, boots.com
With extra protection against blue light, which studies show can be particularly harmful to young eyes, along with all the usual protection against UVA and UVB rays, this pair is a firm favourite. We love the colour mix, too – nice and cheery for the summer months.
8. Squids: £16.95, adventuretogs.co.uk
If your kids love swimming, these will be just the ticket for your summer holiday. They have patented foam inserts that make them float, so they won't get lost at the bottom of the pool or ocean, as well as a water-repelling coating on the lenses, which are also impact resistant. The wrap-around style gives a snug fit and better protection from the sun.
9. Soltan: £10, boots.com
These are a great price for sunglasses that provide good protection, thanks to the wrap-around design and brown lenses, which are proven to block more harmful blue light. We’re not quite sure why both the black and blue ones are advertised as boys’, though, as they’re just as good for girls.
10. Girl Glitter Sunglasses: £6, johnlewis.com
If you want a cheap and cheerful pair of sunnies for a little girl who loves pink and sparkles, but still have 100% UV protection, you can’t go wrong with these. The lenses are heart-shaped with glitter frames and diamante details around the lenses.
11. Bolle Anaconda Junior: £25, selectspecs.com
Suitable for four- to seven-year-old outdoorsy types, these have an ultra-light nylon frame and can withstand a great deal of knocking about, while the grips and firm fit help them stay put. If mum and dad like them, there's an adult version, too.
JBanz get the biggest thumbs up from us, due to their practicality, durability, comfort, style and superb protection from the sun. Squids come in a close second and are particularly good if your child spends a lot of time around water.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
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