A couple of weeks back O-V Optics (100% UV Protective Eyewear for Children) contacted us and asked if we wanted to try out a pair of their sunglasses for kids, known as sunnies in this house. If I had asked my kids who would like to be the test model… all my kids would have been leaping to try. Our kids are well-tuned to cool accessories… and wouldn’t want an opportunity like this to pass by. Seriously, my kids know there is so much more to sunglasses than the word “accessory.” I have found though, that the smaller they are the more sunnies are for dressing up and playing than because of a deep and abiding concern for sun protection. That being said… by having a “real pair” of kid’s sunglasses in our house for a couple of weeks has brought their attention way up. Just an introductory talk on UV damage generally has seen a rise in little folk reaching for hats and taking a bit more care as they head outdoors.
Truth be told, we live in one of the most precarious places on earth for sun damage, and though we live a very out-door lifestyle, our kids have grown up knowing that we are outdoors till ten in the mornings and indoors during the hottest part of the day and only emerge again at the end of the day. Anything that has to be done indoors happens in the middle of the day, when potential sun-damage is at a premium. But we have one person of the crazy athletic variety that keeps finding himself at athletic events in the heat of the day… and because of that he is our biggest consumer of sunscreen, and the best candidate to try out the sunnies.
I met up with the team from O-V Optics and they made a very good point, in a country where folk are slathering on sunscreen, and sun hats are a compulsory part of almost every school uniform… it seems counter-intuitive that children are not encouraged to wear sunglasses. Not cheap, junky sunglasses that create more damage than good, but real, genuine sunnies that are fully approved, designed and created to protect a child’s eyes. Children spend up to three times as much time playing in the outdoors than adults and how many hours do they spend poolside, in the summer, with the sun reflecting dangerous rays back off the water surface, directly into their eyes. There is no secret that my kids did not inherit good eye genes from their parents and spectacles are a way of life for them. I will go to great lengths to protect their vision and it seems really silly to expose them to harmful UV rays from the sun, that will cause lasting damage that will profoundly effect their vision and their lives when they are older. Good sunglasses are so much more than an accessory they really do protect your child’s eyes from long term vision problems. If we can insist our children wear hats, then surely we can convince them to wear sunglasses.
Se7en + 1 Things to Consider When Buying Sunglasses for Children
- I would be looking for good quality lenses: If the lenses are not good enough for my eyes, then I definitely don’t want them for my kids’ eyes.
- They have to have UV filters: In a country that is so concerned about skin damage from UV rays, and folks are lathering on layers of sunscreen, it is surprising that they are not giving the same attention to their eyes. You can read all about UV at this link.
- They need to last: I am not prepared to pay for good lenses only to have the frames let us down and not withstand the typical treatment of kids… sitting on, standing on, left at the bottom of a backpack and worse.
- They need to be adaptable: Almost half of our children wear glasses all the time, their sunnies need to fit prescription lenses.
- They need to be affordable: Since we live in a house that buys a number of pairs of glasses each year, I am well aware of the price of spectacles. And while the cost of these sunglasses is more than the price of sunnies that you buy at the grocery checkout, there is a reason for that. This is definitely a case of “You get what you pay for!” I certainly don’t want to buy my kids cheap sunnies, that not only break constantly but far more important they do not have the right UV filters and so offer their eyes no protection from the sun. In fact they offer a false sense of security, because they appear to protect their eyes from the sun but they allow all the dangerous UV rays in.
- They need to be safe: If a product doesn’t mention that it is lead or BPA free, then it probably isn’t. These sunnies name it and claim it.
- They need to fit: Anyone who has a small child who requires glasses will know what I mean here. Small children do not have the right noses to to keep glasses on their faces – I know it sounds weird if you have never been there… but for a pair of sunnies to be comfortable and not to constantly fall off, especially with smaller children, you need a really good fit.
- They have to have kid appeal: If my child doesn’t like them then they will never wear them.
These sunnies ticked all the boxes, they were cool enough to wear anywhere, and they were comfortable enough to stay on and not be abandoned after a few minutes. They withstood trial and endurance of a very active and energetic child, who likes to push gear to the limit. Not to mention, they survived fairly excessive manhandling from a number of siblings, who wanted to try them out too.
I don’t normally post product reviews, but this product is a good one, and one that I thought would appeal to a lot of our readers. This is not a sponsored post and while we were given a pair of sunglasses to test, by O-V Optics, we were not obliged to write a review. The opinions expressed are as usual our own.