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10 Ways To Get Your Child To Wear Sunglasses

There are lots of ways to get your child to wear sunglasses, even if they’re not 100% on board to start with. One of the best ways to get your child to happily start wearing sunglasses is to introduce them early. Babies should be kept out of the sun until after they are 6 months old, but after that, you should consider buying a pair of baby sunglasses to keep them safe in the sun.

But don’t fret, if your child is a little older and still yet to warm up (if you’ll pardon the pun) to sunglasses, these tips still apply. Whether it’s getting your child involved in picking the colour or giving them positive reinforcement, your kid will be obsessed with their new accessory in no time!

1. Introduce sunglasses from infancy

As mentioned above, the ideal time for a child to start wearing sunglasses is 6 months old. The NHS guidelines say that babies should stay out of direct sun until 6 months of age. But after those first 6 months, sunglasses should form part of your sun safety routine for your child.

If you can get your child familiar with wearing sunglasses from infancy, they are less likely to kick up a fuss about wearing sunglasses as they get older. They become used to wearing the sunglasses in the same way as they get used to wearing hats or other accessories.

2. Make sure the sunglasses fit comfortably

Baby, toddler and kid-friendly sunglasses are not all created equal. Make sure that you shop around to ensure that the sunglasses you choose have the optimal fit for your child.

So what makes a good fit? Make sure that the sunglasses sit on the bridge of the nose, and are neither too tight or too loose around the face. The arms of the sunglasses should also not be too long or too short. For more information on the correct fit on baby sunglasses, check out our fit guide. If a pair of sunglasses fit comfortably, your baby should hardly notice them when they are worn.

Another thing to consider is the material of the sunglasses. The material of the sunglasses should be soft against the skin, to avoid any irritation. You could also look for non toxic and hypo-allergenic material (like ours at Petit Peepers!) for extra comfort.

3. Use a strap and other fit devices

A strap can be a great piece of kit that not only helps prevent sunglasses from getting lost, but also ensures that your child doesn’t constantly pull them off their face! If you are shopping for baby sunglasses, opt for a flexible silicone style strap for optimal comfort (even during naps). If you are shopping for toddler sunglasses or for an older child, you may wish to choose something made from fabric with a fun design.

The other benefit of a strap on your baby sunglasses is that they hold the sunglasses in place and can improve the fit for infants. Once your baby gets a little older, you can simply remove the strap to allow for a little more growing space.

Here at Petit Peepers, we have an additional fit device which helps achieve a more comfortable fit for young infants. The silicone arm fits slide over the arms of the sunglasses to shorten the temples for additional comfort and optimal fit. The added bonus? The sunglasses can grow with your baby as their head grows larger.

4. Be a positive role model

Kids love to model their parents. Be a positive role model to your child and make sure that you’re putting on your sunglasses when spending time in the sun. Not only will it encourage your child, it’s also great for your own eye health too!

Make a point of getting the whole family to put their sunglasses on when it gets sunny. You could even have a little catchphrase- “it’s sunglasses time!”

5. Get them involved

One of the best ways to get your child to wear sunglasses is to get them interested and involved in the process. Start by letting them put their own sunglasses on. It will help foster their independence, and gets them to make the connection for themselves between a sunny day and putting on their sunnies.

Kids will often put their frames on upside down, but don’t stress, practice makes perfect! Let them have fun with their sunglasses, and they’ll soon get the hang of it.

6. Use positive reinforcements

When your child puts on their sunglasses, make a point of telling them how cool they look! Or, you could tell them they’re doing a great job at putting on their sunglasses. Before you know it, putting on sunglasses will become part of their everyday routine on a sunny day.

If your child is a little older, you can also show them how to take care of their sunglasses by wiping the lenses with a lens cloth, folding them carefully in their case, and keeping them safe. It’s a way for them to feel responsible and take pride and care over their possession.

7. Establish the sunglasses as an everyday item (just like a sun hat!)

Make sure you always have their sunglasses on hand, and treat them as an everyday sun protection essential- just like a sun hat or sun cream. Wearing sunglasses will soon feel part of the routine on a sunny day.

You can allow your child to play with the sunglasses, figure them out, and ask questions at first. Once the sunglasses become less mysterious, you can introduce the sunglasses whenever you put a hat on your child. They will soon get used to their little accessories.

8. Use a mirror or iPhone camera

Kids love to look at themselves in a mirror, and when they can see themselves in their sunglasses- usually they get a little obsessed with their sunnies! This again takes away any mystery, and your child can see what they look like (and maybe pull some funny faces!).

If your child loves iPhone camera filters, you could also take selfies or photos of them in their sunglasses as a fun activity to normalise wearing sunglasses.

9. Allow them to choose

If your child is a toddler or a little older, get them involved in choosing their sunglasses. If you have a particular sunglasses brand in mind already (and if not, do check out our range here at Petit Peepers), that’s ok- just ask your child to pick their favourite colour option or design.

When your child participates in the process of selecting a pair of sunglasses, they are more likely to wear them, take care of them, and feel proud to show them off!

10. Be patient

If your child isn’t taking to wearing sunglasses right away, don’t worry. It might take them some time to get used to them, but they will get there eventually.

Don’t force it, and take breaks from trying with the sunglasses if you need to. If your child will tolerate a hat, this can still provide some shade for their face- and you can make effort to keep them in the shade whenever possible. But, if you follow the steps above on ways to get your child to wear sunglasses, hopefully they’ll be loving their sunnies in no time!

Sunglasses safety tips for infants and children

What age do kids need to start wearing sunglasses?

Ideally, kids should start wearing sunglasses from the age of 6 months. Yes, really. Once a baby is 6 months old, sunglasses should form part of your sun safety routine for your child alongside a hat, shade, pram canopy, and UV protective clothing.

The sooner you start your baby wearing sunglasses, the better. Your child will get used to wearing sunglasses, and it will help them to develop healthy eye and sun safety habits for the future.

Is it important for kids to wear sunglasses?

Kids should wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection (also known as UV400). It’s important for kids (and especially young children and infants) to wear sunglasses when they are exposed to direct sun.

The reason for that is because the lens of a child’s eye will allow 70% more UV rays to enter the retina than an adult. Meaning the eyes of babies and young children are more sensitive to sunlight than adults. Infant eyelids are also more transparent, which allows a shorter wavelength of light to reach their retina.

For optimal eye health later in life, it is recommended that you protect your kids eyes from the sun in the same way that you would protect their skin from sunburn.

When should kids wear sunglasses?

Kids should wear sunglasses whenever they are outside in the sun. This is especially true even on water or snow due to the light reflecting off the surface of the water.

Whenever you’d wear sunglasses, think about putting sunglasses on your child. That includes in the car, if you don’t have tinted windows or a window shade. Don’t worry if occasionally they forgo the sunglasses outdoors- you’re doing your best and that’s just fine!

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