How to choose sunglasses for my child?

Your child's eyes are fragile and will keep on developing until age 12.

That's why you need to protect them... Even if your little one reject them at first. 

To ease the difficult transition to accepting sunglasses, make sure you select a pair that fits his/her face and needs... and that will be easily forgotten!

Comment choisir des lunettes de soleil enfants - Decathlon

1/ Why are sunglasses essential for your child?

Sunglasses are essential for the safety of your child's eyes for the two following key reasons:


> Because the eye's lens (located behind the iris) ends its development at the age of 12. Until this age, it cannot filter all the UVA and UVB rays. The sunglasses provide an effective protection and prevent any damage to your child's eyes.


> Because children are not aware of the danger posed by the sun for their eyes. They could look directly at the sun without blinking. This would be very dangerous and could even result in a retinal burn if such direct exposure lasts several seconds.


With children sunglasses, these dangers are avoided and you can let your children move around as they like without worrying !

2/ Full UV protection, polycarbonate lenses for optimal safety

Do not confuse UV protection index and lens category!


The protection index of sunglasses is defined by the material itself, while the lens category refers to the protection against glare . When you choose sunglasses for your child, it is essential that the lenses provide full UV protection. It ensures they filter all UVA and UVB rays.


Also, prefer polycarbonate lenses. This ultra-light material provides excellent protection against all UV rays while being highly resistant to impacts. A good point to help your child forget s/he's wearing sunglasses!

Comment choisir des lunettes de soleil enfants - Decathlon

3/ Category 3 or 4? Which lens should you choose for your child?

Remember, the lens category refers to the "power" of the tint. Category 3 lenses provide as much protection against UV rays as category 4 lenses. The difference is in the quantity of light that filters through and in the protection against glare.


Category children sunglasses are ideal for all family hikes and activities in sunny weather. This is the most widely used category for children sunglasses.


Category 4 lenses are to be used in very bright light conditions, for example on a boat at sea, or on a glacier in the mountains. If your child uses category 4 sunglasses in normal light conditions, s/he may find that them too dark and be inclined to remove them.

Comment choisir des lunettes de soleil enfants - Decathlon

4/ Children sunglasses for every age group

Sunglasses frames vary according to the age of your child. They should be adapted to the child's head shape and to their needs. The objective is to provide optimal comfort for your little one!


> 2 years old and under: flexible sunglasses frame

Up to age 2, babies have no nasal bone. Sunglasses such as BABY 300 are designed with a rounded shape at the nose, or with a silicone nose bridge. Flexible plastic frames are to be preferred: they adjust to the shape of the face and moreover, they will not get out of shape or break.


> From 2 to 7 years old: full coverage, flexible sunglasses

For children aged 2 to 7, you should choose a model such as the Kid 500, with larger lenses to optimise their field of vision. The flexible frame, with a rounded design and no angles, must provide full coverage and follow the line of the eyebrows to prevent the child from looking over the sunglasses. Prefer a model with a strap so that your child will not lose or drop his/her sunglasses.


> 7 years and older: children sunglasses just like mum and dad!

As from age 7, you can direct your choice towards more rigid frames, almost like adult models. It is no longer necessary to use a strap to keep the sunglasses on your child's face, unless s/he does very active sports, such as skiing. 


Help your children want to keep their sunglasses on their nose: buy them a comfortable model they like.

When you buy the sunglasses, let them choose the model and the colour... then they will have only one urge: to wear sunglasses like a grown-up!

amandine - rédactrice spécialiste conseils optique
Amandine, Technical write, expert in optics

"Don't forget to protect your eyes and your children's eyes when hiking. My tip: Ensure that your lenses provide full UV protection and choose polycarbonate lenses, a high impact-resistant material!"