I think The K Man’s been wearing sunglasses since he was four months old. Miss Q was closer to six months, if I remember correctly.
I personally wear (prescription) sunnies year-round and generally have my kids in them as soon as the warmer weather arrives. But I’m keenly aware that they’re at risk of eye damage from the sun’s strong rays even in the dead of winter. They just tend to reject sunglasses outside of the summer months, and I’m not a fan of fighting too many losing battles.
I’ve bought a few different brands of kids’ sunglasses over the years, and although fashion-forward frames are important to this eternally shallow mom – who’s quite certain that as long as her kids are dressed well she can get away with little more than lululemon each day – I’m always more concerned about the quality of the lens.
Enter Real Kids Shades, who sent me two pairs of sunglasses for my kidlets, along with an enormous amount of information about the importance of protecting young eyes.
The “shatterproof, impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses” are a God-send. Truly. If you’ve ever had the great misfortune of stepping or sitting on a pair of rogue sunglasses, you know that the lenses – much less the hard plastic frames – generally don’t make it.
The Real Kids Shades’ frames are so ultra-flexible that you can literally take them by the stems and twist them from side to side. Miss Q likes to s-t-r-e-t-c-h her sunnies W-I-D-E open as she slowly moves them toward her face and positions them just so on her ears; glasses any less bendy would kick the bucket in her hands. The Flex model has more give than the Flex Duo model, so if you have a rough kid on your hands, keep this in mind.
Real Kids Shades protect your child’s eyes from both UVA and UVB rays – and are tested by a third party to ensure they block 100 per cent of harmful rays. Read more about the science behind why it’s imperative to invest in good-quality sunglasses for your kids.
They fit really true to size. For the purposes of testing, we selected two different models but in the same size. The sunglasses intended for the four year old fit him perfectly, and – appropriately – are too big for my two year old, who needs the optional (but included) neoprene strap to keep them on her face. There are sizes to fit from birth through the middle years to about age 12. I actually wish the Fabulous style was available in grown-up sizes…
While both Real Kids Shades sunglasses look great, I’m especially hot on the Flex model for little girls. They’ve got a real Jackie O vibe to them, which can be hard to find in shrunken-down kids’ sizes.
On both models that we tested, the frames wrap right around the sides. This is something I look for on my own shades because I hate when the sun peeks through the sides – it’s cutting to my vision.
Loads of great colour and colour combo options to choose from.
Fantastic price point for the quality. At about $12 to $20 per pair (depending on the style and retailer), and with an excellent quality guarantee, Real Kids Shades offer excellent price per use.
Adding the neoprene band has worked really well for bike-riding; it doesn’t impact the fit of either of my kids’ helmets and their sunnies stay on without fail.
This is going to seem trivial, but for parents concerned about colour-matching, you need to know this: we received a white neoprene band with our hot pink sunglasses, and a black one with our blue and orange pair. Not a fan. I’d rather get a multicolour-patterned band that goes with everything. Or, better still, a hot pink band with my hot pink frames and a blue or orange with my…well, you get the picture.