A good pair of sunglasses not only eases the sun’s glare but also protects eyes from the potential damage of ultraviolet rays. Sunglass protection is even more important for children than it is for adults, because young eyes — with larger pupils and clearer lenses — are more susceptible to damage from the sun.
Luckily, these days there are plenty of solid options on the market for kids’ sunglasses. Here are three places to begin:
Babiators: This popular brand has a wide variety of styles and colors, from the adorable Princess Pink Aviator to the fit-for-a-spy Black Ops Black Navigator. All glasses are 100 percent UV-protected, and frames are strong and flexible enough to survive child-handling. Some glasses come polarized. Glasses available for ages from birth to six years old (and up). $20-25 for UV; $49 with polarization. babiators.com
Real Kids Shades: This brand is characterized by high-spirited color combinations, with many glasses sporting wraparound frames. Lenses are shatterproof and 100 percent UVA/UVB-protected (the company’s tagline: “Bend ‘em, Flex ‘em, You can’t break ‘em”). Glasses fit babies to age seven. $14.95-$34.95. realkidsshades.com
Ray-Ban Juniors: These sunglasses — more for youngsters than babies or toddlers — look just like adult Ray-Bans, except smaller. You’ll find the classic pilot glasses, the square black, the way-cool round shape and others you’ll recognize. 100 percent UV protection; one line, Signet, is polarized. $73-$103; $128 with polarization. ray-ban.com
In Sonoma County, Ray-Bans are carried widely by many sports stores, opticians and optical centers. Babiators can only be purchased at the company’s online store (and other online stores).