Are Sunglasses Bad for Toddlers?

Updated on November 07, 2017
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
17 answers

I bought my 15 month old sunglasses to avoid the glare of the sun off the river while we're out on the boat. He thinks he the hottest thing ever in them, and wears them often ;) It's cute. Well he wore them to the grocery store today and some random woman was like 'oh, are they prescription?' I laughed and said 'no, they're just for the sun'... she was like 'oh no!' and proceeded to tell me how it impairs young childrens vison and he'll need glasses when he's older. I shrugged and thanked her and rolled my eyes the second I hit the next aisle... but... then I thought about how some kinds of cheap sunglasses, especially aviator glasses because of the curve, really bother my eyes. Is she onto something? Are sunglasses bad for toddlers? My daughters always wore sunglasses, still do, to prevent and avoid sunblindness from the glare of the sun off the water, and they're fine... ??

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So What Happened?

GREAT article, thanks Linda!! I bought these a year ago, I have no idea how great they are... guess he needs a new pair :) Oh no! Shopping trip :)

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

That's news to me.

I could never get my son to keep them on at that age! I don't think it's ever too early to start protecting their eyes, right?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

they are actually bad for toddlers and children if they do not have the correct UV and UVB filters in them. Especially cheaper ones. They keep the eye fully dialated (big) allowing the rays to come in whereas when you don't wear them, you squint and your eyes constrict preventing your eyes from getting the full dose of rays. If that makes sense. ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If anything, I thought sunglasses were good to protect their eyes from the sun! I wouldn't worry about that lady. That's great that your son keeps them on at that age, I wish my twins would! :)

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answers from Phoenix on

I don't know about just for toddlers, but for everyone in general, it is best to find sunglasses that block UVA and UVB, not all do. If you have a pair that doesn't block those rays, then it just makes it darker, causing your eyes to dialate and then it lets in even more UVA and UVB into your eyes than it would without sunglasses. So, from what I've learned, sunglasses are good and do protect the eyes, if you have a quality pair.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Saginaw on

Never heard of this, but if that's true, guess mine might need them too. Because they've both worn sunglasses at a young age, here and there.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Actually, they are good protection, providing the ones you bought have broad spectrum UV protection in the lenses. The cheapo multi-packs that people stick in "goody bags" are flat out dangerous, because they provide no protection at all... they just cause the kiddo's pupils to open all the way up and let in MORE dangerous UV rays!

I always encourage my kids to wear sunglasses when they are out in the sun, if they want. But I NEVER buy ANY sunglasses that don't have the little sticker saying they protect against all the UV rays...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think she is wrong - me and my kids have all had perscription glasses since age 3 and eye disease in the family, so I know a lot about eyes. I suppose if your son wore cheap sunglasses 24 hours a day, sure, it could be a problem. But UV light is far more damaging!! The main problem I see is that cheap glasses distort color and depth and this could make kids clutzier and have poorer judgments. And not all sunglasses are really going to block UV effectively. But if you buy something designed for the sun in a neutral gray tone, it probably is better than nothing for diminishing glare and protectign the eyes from the UV light.

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answers from Austin on

No they are not bad for them. They are protecting his eyes.

Just make sure they are SUV sunglasses. Our daughter also always wore a hat out in the sun to protect her from getting a sunburn on her scalp. the brim also helped to shade her eyes along with the sunglasses.

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answers from Cumberland on

Studies have shown that protecting your child's eyes for at least the first three years of their lives will greatly reduce the incidence of cataracts and other eye problems later in life-I have seen sunglasses for babies that have an elastic strap-like goggles-very cool.



answers from Topeka on

Never heard they were bad for toddlers I think if they were my eye dr wouldn't recommended them for my toddlers they need a high 100% UVA/UVB in them to do any good,the kind that wrap around the head for babies or the smaller kind for kids (help them put them on & just like with anything else they need to be toll a hundred times till it clicks) as with any sunglasses cheaper isn't always better.
Just a side note the big sunglasses may look funny on pep's but a huge believer in protecting my eyes & the area around them so those big glasses are doing good on protecting your face & eyes from wrinkles just another tip from my eye dr.
I'll read the article...



answers from Washington DC on

my sis is an optometrist, and she says that everyone should be wearing sunglasses that protect from uv, including babies. just make sure they aren't just for fun, that they actually protect.



answers from Springfield on

wow L.S I didn't know that. My xgf thinks that our 2 year old son can go blind if I get him sunglasses. We put a hat on him to block the sun from his eyes and he takes it off 2 minuts later! I even asked my mom if sunglasses can make you go blind and she said, "What?! whats more important ruining your retina or protecting your eyes?" I said " thats what I tryed telling her and she took it the opposite direction." But is it REALLY true that my son could go blind if he does wear them? thanks for the advice! -K.


answers from Chicago on

my son has light senstivity so we have always gotten him sunglasses, and I have always looked for the best protection and look thru them myself before offering them to him to try when buying them. He likes the "oakly" style with the reflective eyes because they are like daddy's but we make sure to have a few pair for him because he will not even walk out the door to the car w/out them on a sunny day sometimes.



answers from St. Louis on

I hate them simply because I have had many children poke themselves in the eyes trying to put them on by themselves.

I think in today's world.....they are necessary if they're actual sunglasses & not toy ones. I will definitely read the article that Linda P. posted!

Good question!



answers from Washington DC on

That woman has no idea what she's talking about. My son was 13 months old when his eye doc recommended I put sunglasses on him because he has blue eyes and the UV rays over time will cause difficulties with his vision. You want to make sure that they have UV protection (my eye doc was able to check this), but other than that I've never heard of it messing up their vision unless of course they're wearing prescription sunglasses that aren't their prescription.



answers from Los Angeles on

Good quality sunglasses are a benefit to you and your eyes. Wearing a pair of sunglasses, a trusted brand (no knockoffs), can help you see better. It is true that wearing a cheap pair of sunglasses will damage uour eyes worse then if you were wearing no sunglasses at all. The dark lense tricks the eye into thinking its safe so the pupil enlarges opening up to allow more light in. Thats when the alot of damage can occur. Without sunglasses your eye knows how to protect itself by squinting etc. That said , its better to wear no sunglases than cheap sunglasses that offer no protection. I hope this makes it a little more understandable. TY

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