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Buying Sunglasses for a Toddler?

What should I look for when choosing sunglasses for my toddler?
ByMichael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician
Updated
January 30, 2017
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Image: Altia Ong

Protecting your child from the sun is a great idea. Convincing her to wear — or keep on — a pair of sunglasses may be a struggle, though. Toddlers are notorious for pulling off hats, sunglasses, headbands — you name it.

Don’t worry, though, if your child won’t keep on a pair of sunglasses; they’re not essential. Try to keep a wide-brimmed hat (with a chin strap!) on her instead. The hat will shade her eyes and provide adequate sun protection. She may rip that off too, but we think you’ll have more luck with it than with sunglasses.

If your child is willing to try sunglasses, look for a pair that include UV protection. UV rays can gradually damage the eyes and over time UV exposure can lead to cataracts. It’s worth it to spend a couple extra dollars to get adequate UV protection.

Look for frames that fit your child’s face. Some kids’ sunglasses come with soft, flexible ear pieces and others wrap almost around the head. You can even find sunglasses that include a stretchy, wrap-around headband.

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