Sunglasses Are an Essential at the Beach or Lake: Tips for Choosing Sunglasses

Spending time in the sun without eye protection is dangerous wherever you are, but it is particularly risky in places like the beach or lake where sunlight bounces off the water and increases the intensity of UV rays. No time is this more true than in the summer, when UV levels can become more than three times higher than the winter, explains Eye Smart. Make sure the young eyes in your family are properly protected by following these tips for choosing children and youth sunglasses.


Larger lenses and 100% UV protection are great for kids. Source: Real Kids

1. Look for 100 percent UV Protection

Although this is the most important factor when choosing sunglasses, less than half of consumers look for a label indicating the percentage of UV rays shades block, says Eye Smart. Sunglasses with a lower level of protection only reduce light, meaning eyes can still suffer from damage including cataracts, photokeratitis, and cancer.

2. Choose Big Lenses

Large lenses cover a greater area and prevent light entering around the sides of shades. A bonus benefit is that oversized and wraparound lenses are very fashionable!

3. Think About Color

You should note that the color of lenses does not indicate protection — even dark lenses may block only a small percentage of UV light. However, different colors create different contrasts, an important consideration if your kids are planning to use the shades when playing sports.

4. Consider Polarized Lenses

Polarization also has nothing to do with UV protection but can be very useful for reducing glare from reflective surfaces, such as water at the beach or lake, making it easier to see. For this reason, polarized lenses are often favored by kids and adults who participate in water sports.

5. Never Base Your Decision on Cost

Shades may be expensive purely because of their brand. If you are looking for safety, take all of the above factors into account — and remember that high cost does not always mean high quality.

Find a range of children and youth sunglasses in the Real Kids collection. All our shades come with 100 percent UV protection, and we have polarized styles for every age group.