Everybody knows that kids need lots of healthy doses of sunshine, right? Well, yes and no. Sunshine, yes! Harmful UV rays, no. Most of us in this day and age are aware of the damaging effects of the sun, (probably due to lessons learned the hard way back in our younger years…). However, while a lot of parents are religious about lathering up the sunscreen on the kiddos before sending them outside, I’d wager that many of those same parents don’t think twice about protecting their child’s eyes from the sun.
Did you know that children under the age of 10 are at a much higher risk for both skin and eye damage from UV rays than their older counterparts? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, not only is the skin on their eyelids more delicate than adult skin, but until age 10, “the lens of a child’s eye is clear, allowing greater solar penetration and greater UV ray induced ocular changes.” Sometime around the age of 10 the lens becomes more opaque, which provides better protection.
But easier said than done though right? As a family that spends the majority of our free time outdoors, we are all too well aware of just how impossible keeping a hat and sunglasses on a full throttle toddler can be. While Cragbaby could usually be counted on to keep his hat on (which was good since he was pretty much bald well past his first birthday…), I must be honest and say that we’ve been pretty hit or miss with the sunglasses. Aside from a few short-lived spurts here and there, C’s willingness to throw on his shades has been sporadic at best…until recently!
To be honest, I never imagined that C wouldn’t be into his shades. My husband and I both are aesthetically blessed with attractive eye colours but we care about our sight so we’re always donning our own defensive eyewear – and toddlers are monkey see, monkey do right? Besides, they were just so darn cute on him! We didn’t push, but always made sure fashionable eyewear was available at all times on the freak chance that he would keep them on. We tried a couple of pairs but the ones that have finally stuck are made by Julbo.
Though slowly but surely C has become more tolerant of wearing his shades, I think a lot of the recent zeal can strangely enough be contributed to the laser treatments I’ve been getting for my fractured ankle (Mommy, the doctor, and “big boys” all wear their special glasses in the treatment room…), C’s Julbo glasses (we have the Looping 3) do have a lot going for them that I think make them superior over the other brands we’ve tried.
Here’s what we liked:
- INDESTRUCTABLE – These glasses have certainly taken quite the licking and somehow they keep on ticking. The frames are ridiculously flexible, which means they can withstand endless amounts of yanking and stretching and still stay in one piece.
- REVERSIBLE – The frames are reversible, meaning regardless of how big boy C puts them on all by himself, they won’t be upside down!
- STAY PUT STRAP – Though we’ve found that these glasses stay on pretty well even without the strap, the strap adds a peace of mind. Even when C decides mid-hike that he’s “all done,” he can just take them off and wear them around his neck, so we don’t have to worry about keeping track of them.
- GENEROUS SIZING – Just like most kid’s fashion, these glasses aren’t what I would call cheap (although at $32 they aren’t unreasonable). However, unlike your child’s shirts and pants, these glasses should definitely last long enough to get your money’s worth out of them (provided your tyke doesn’t lose them!) We ordered the 2-4 year size when C was around 16 months – they fit great then, and at 23 months, he’s still far from growing out of them.
- SCRATCHES – I would have expected that glasses made for free-spirited (and often teething…) babies and toddlers would have been a little more resistant to scratches. I was disappointed when C got a few decent size scratches initially, but now that he’s older (and not chomping on them), the scratching is now at a minimum. Thankfully the scratches aren’t too bad, and don’t seem to bother him at all.