Berkeley Parents Network >
Health & Medical >
Sunglasses for Kids
Our 8yo boy is outgrowing the little kid styles of
sunglasses we've always bought (the ones with Hot Wheels and
Transformers and stuff on them from the drug store), but
isn't quite big enough for the juniors styles. Where do you
get sunglasses for your 8-12yo, and what brand? Ideally I'd
like something under $20 (is that unrealistic?) since he's
prone to losing them, and something sturdy since they'll be
worn for sports and general rough-and-tumbleness. If you
buy Julbos or other pricey shades for your kids, how do you
keep your kids from losing them? Mom to New Big Kid
Children's Place has great sunglasses sized for tweens, and they're
My 5 year old wears prescription glasses. I want to protect his
eyes from the sun this summer, but I don't want to pay for
prescription sunglasses, given that we replace the regular glasses
a couple of times a year for scratches already. I tried getting
$10 adult clip-on sunglasses from Walgreens and cutting them to
fit with scissors, but there wasn't sufficient sun protection on
Can anyone recommend any kids' sunglasses that go over
prescription glasses? I've seen some decent looking ones for
Any other suggestions? Thanks so much. My son also wears an eye
patch for a lazy eye, so I'm crossing my fingers for something as
good-looking and minimally ''clunky'' as possible, within reason,
I got a spare/second pair of glasses for my daughter from Zenni
Optical (www.zennioptical.com) for $19, and they offer clip-on
sunglasses for something like $3.95 more (and you can order
spares if you want, too). What you need is your son's
prescription, his current frame size, and the distance
measurement between his eyes (I called the ophthamologists'
office and got that easily). Give it a try - the glasses seem
to work just as well as my daughter's ''official'' pair, and she
LOVES those clip-ons.
Am looking for recommendations, brands, local sources, for good
quality UV-filtering sunglasses to fit kids ages 2 and up.
Affordability a plus. Thanks in advance.
There are a couple of sunglasses I recommend. One is baby banz
or kid banz, depending on the age of the child. Ray Ban has also
come out with a kids line that is very sturdy and UV protective.
I am an optometrist and carry the kids ray ban line and its not
cheap, but they are high quality ($50)). I have some colleauges
that have baby banz and they are much less (about $25). Anything
less costly than that and you are just getting a plastic lens
that is tinted and may not have UV protection. You can probably
find either one at your local optometrist or maybe at a mall
sunglasses hut. Glad you are starting early to protect your
Sunglasses for Teens and Adults
My prescription has changed and I need to order new
sunglasses. It drives me nuts that I can't get really
dark sunglass lenses. Everytime I'm at the eye doctor and
ask about them, they just brush me off and tell me it's
dangerous to wear sunglasses that are too dark. My eyes
are super sensitive to light and I get headaches really
easily, so I'm hoping some experienced BPNers have some
advice for me. Short of painting my lenses black, I'm out
of ideas so any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thank
Squinty all the time
I would go to another eye doctor, or a dispensary. I last
went to the Tang Center at UC Berkeley. They have a huge
selection of frames, and were super helpful about
information, pricing, and the pros and cons of various
options. I purchased a pair of lens that turn dark when you
are in bright sunlight. Since my eyes are sensitive to
bright sunlight too, I asked it there were ones that turn
super dark. In fact there are, and the professor in charge
of the dispensary even came to speak to me about them
herself since she had a pair. I couldn't be more delighted
with them! Mine are in Signature brand frames (frameless,
super light lens) that come in a large variety of shapes and
You can also buy custom clip on sunglasses that come in a
very dark grey or brown.
Have you tried Oakleys? You can choose quite dark lenses, and they can
be done as prescription. Try the website, as it has far more than stores do.
I went to REI and bought a pair of ''glacier glasses'' then
I took them to UC Optometry center and had them put my rx
lenses in. I told them I wanted them dark like the glacier
glases. I have an eye injury and not only need the dark
lenses, but the side things that glacier glasses have so
I get no glare. It was no problem to do it there. Good
For prescription sunglasses, there is only a certain darkness you can obtain. In
other words, it's not that you could have darker lenses, but no one will do it
for you--they can't do it. I know you might see some people wearing
sunglasses that seem darker, but they are not prescription. Prescription
lenses have to be made with a certain type of plastic, and those plastics can
only take dye in certain ways. Non-prescription sunglasses can use different
plastics that take dye better. Here are some things you can do. 1) Find out if
your prescription can be made in plastics that dye better. If your prescription
is high, the likely answer is no. 2) Make sure you are getting polarized lenses.
There are two ways to tint lenses--one is a dye (like dyeing Easter eggs) and
the other is a film within the lens which only lets through light at certain
angles (polarization). If you are sensitive to glare, polarization is the only way
to go. It's more expensive. 3) Make sure you are getting a large enough frame.
Lots of light enters your eyes from the sides, so make sure the lenses are
large enough to block the light 4) If you can, get a frame that wraps around
the face a bit. These are usually sports frames. Problem is that the higher your
prescription, the more aberrations you will get from this style of frame. 5) Do
other things besides sunglasses: wear a brimmed hat to cut down on glare. 6)
If you are really suffering and don't mind the cosmesis--there are sunglasses
that fit over any pair of glasses. They are great because they are almost like
goggles and curve a bit. Google No IR to see some examples. These are
usually used by people who have eye diseases that make them light sensitive
because they aren't the prettiest.
I've been bugging my teen son to wear sunglasses to protect his
eyes--he's a swimmer and spends a lot of time in the sun on the
pool deck and in the water. He doesn't wear sunglasses as a
fashion item either, although his friends do, but he's still
conscious of how he looks so he won't wear sunglasses that he
considers ''unfashionable'', like the styles commonly worn for
running, cycling or other active sports.
Any suggestions for sunglasses brands/styles he might like? Also,
in the interest of eye protection, should I be looking at certain
brands like Ray-Ban or Oakley? Even if cheap fashion-type
sunglasses say that they have UV protection, in my experience,
I've found that the lenses of cheap sunglasses are inferior to
those of brands like Oakley. Does this matter to a teen? For the
record, he's pretty good about not losing his stuff.
Also, my son is Asian, so there's also the issue of sunglasses
sliding down his nose and sitting on his cheeks. I myself wear
Oakley Asian Fit glasses, but my son might want more variety in
styles than what that line offers.
Don't even get me started on how he won't wear a hat either
My son is also a swimmer and life guard and is and worries about being fashionable.
Last year we got him a pair of Calvin Klein glasses that were similar to a pair of
Ray-Bans but looked a bit nicer. Make sure to get polarized glasses to cut out the
glare, although that does add about $40 to the price. You can't go wrong with Ray-Bans
though. Take him to a good sunglasses shop and have him try on glasses until he finds a
pair that fit and look cool.
After many years nearsighted, I've now reached that age of
farsightedness as well, and am the proud new owner of a pair
of progressive lens glasses for everyday use. I'm trying to
figure out what to do about sunglasses. In the past, I had
some clip-on sunshades that went on my regular frames, which
did in a pinch but weren't really that effective. When sun
protection really mattered (a beach day, a snow day, a long
hike/run), I'd wear one-day disposable contacts and a nice
pair of non-Rx polarized lenses. But now I can't see well
with my contacts any more (can't read a thing), so I need
something to fill this niche.
I'm thinking I need Rx sunglasses, but what kind of tint?
I'm intrigued by the transitions type lenses, because my
assumption is it will require less changing-of-the-glasses.
Is this true? Do they get dark enough? Do they get dark at
all when you're driving? (I read they don't, because
they're UV sensitive and car windows have UV film).
Although I've found transitions lenses that are also
polarized, it's quite expensive, and I think I can live
without polarized lenses, especially as my life gets more
and more dominated by LCD screens. I sure do love my
polarized lenses in snow and high glare situations, though.
How much might I miss that?
[Moderator's note - They look kind of dorky but
I recommend Solar Shields. They go on on top
of regular glasses. They are polarized and have
UV protection. What's more, they're cheap <$30.]
Finally, any recs on where to shop? I'm looking for a
crossover pair, both sporty and stylish. One that I
wouldn't feel strange wearing on a long run, but also
wouldn't feel strange wearing at an outdoor happy hour.
Thanks for any advice. Squinty
You are correct - the transitioning lenses do NOT darken in
the car, and I don't think they really get dark enough
outside. Have you seen the frames that come with matching
magnetic clip-ons? When you order the frames, they come
with the clips (my insurance covers the set), and they match
and fit perfectly. Most places don't carry any of these,
but a few places do. Call ahead. The ones I like best - a
pretty big selection - are by Revolution. The magnets are
very unobtrusive at the temples (others have the magnet at
the nosepiece, which I don't think works as well). One
place that carries a good selection of the Revolution brand
is the office of Lesli Handmacher in Walnut Square in
Berkeley. I got some of these about six years ago, and now
I'm hooked - I won't consider anything else. It's great to
be able to easily put the clips on and take them off with
one hand while driving, never having to take off my 'eyes.'
While driving, I keep the clip in a little case in one of my
cup-holders and can reach for them without even taking my
eyes off the road. I'm never going back to separate
sunglasses, or the non-matching clip-ons that required two
hands to get on, and gave me a headache. Oh - the clip's
lenses come in several tints (I like the grey for driving),
and they are polarized. R.K.
Because I'm so good at not losing things, I've had the same pair
of sunglasses for almost ten years! I think it's time to update
my look and get a new pair. I'm looking for a recommendation for
a store with someone who has good style sense (and doesn't just
want to make a sale) to help me pick out a pair of stylish but
not-trying-too-hard-to-be-trendy nonprescription sunglasses.
Location in Berkeley or East Bay preferred.
I (and several friends) have bought many pairs of glasses from
San Francisco Optics, 2248 Chestnut Street, in San Francisco,
and I've always been thrilled with their recommendations. The
guys that work there are experts at finding frames that fit both
your face and your style. It's a little disconcerting to walk in
there -- they look, I mean *really* look, at your face, to
assess the shape, etc. They often offer two pairs: one if you
are more on the conservative side stylewise, and another if you
are more cutting edge. They aren't the cheapest, but are
definitely worth it for the great assessment. Check out their
photo book, comparing frame shapes/sizes for different faces.
They do prescription glasses, but can also put nonprescription
sunglasses lenses in any frames.
The Focal Point - Ashby and College. They are great about helping
you pick out frames that look good. I've bought several pairs of
sunglasses there including two pairs on sale for very cheap (they
also have a lot of high-end sunglasses)
this page was last updated: Aug 12, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network