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Best Overall Toddler Sunglasses: Roshambo Toddler Shades - What to Expect

What to Expect is the world’s best-known, most trusted pregnancy and parenting brand. The What to Expect brand mission is to “Support happy, healthy pregnancies and happy, healthy babies."

Parents in the What to Expect community love the Italian-made Roshambo sunglasses for their impressive flexibility, polarized (and optional prescription) lenses and reasonable price, making them an overall winner.

These frames are made out of a durable, flexible material that's BPA- and latex-free and are designed to survive rougher toddler use — they can actually be twisted and folded. Parents even attest to the fact that you can bend the glasses nearly in half without breaking! All styles have polarized lenses — ideal for kids who are light sensitive. And, as an added bonus, Roshambo will give you a free replacement pair in the first year after purchase in the off-chance your glasses get damaged.

Keep in mind that the toddler sunglasses size is recommended for 2 to 4 year olds. The brand recommends buying the baby sunglasses for children younger than 2 and the junior sunglasses for children 5 and older.

Toddler Size: 2-4 years

Lens type: Polarized, prescription optional

Protection type: 100 percent UVA and UVB protection

Community Reviews

“Look no further than Roshambo baby sunglasses! They are indestructible and have UV protection and polarized lenses. You can get attachments to make them super secure too. We have the baby ones and also the toddler size for our first son.” - violaforme

“They are super cute and we like them so far. You can also buy a strap for the back.” - tinaj89

"Yes we love our sunglasses! We got them from Roshambo online because they bend and won't break as easily." - mlog13

While sunglasses may seem like a fun summer accessory for your little one, they also provide vital protection for your child's eyes, especially when outside in the hot sun. In addition to summer necessities like sun hats and plenty of sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses will protect your child's eyes from harmful UV rays while outside. We're here to talk all about the best toddler sunglasses, including what to look for and some of the top picks out there, according to experts and parents alike.

Should toddlers wear sunglasses?

One basic (but important) benefit of sunglasses for toddlers is to keep kids comfortable in bright light, says Zachary P. Elkin, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric ophthalmologist and assistant professor of ophthalmology at New York University. Some kids are light sensitive, he says, so going outdoors on sunny days without eye protection can be irritating or uncomfortable.

Even more important is the fact that there are certain aspects of sunlight — namely, ultraviolet (aka UV) radiation — that can affect the health of the eye, Dr. Elkin says. Long-term sun exposure early on can increase the risk of eye conditions and diseases, like macular degeneration, ocular melanoma and cataracts later in life. So, it's undoubtedly important to find the right pair of sunglasses that will protect your child from the harmful effects of the sun's rays.

Types of toddler sunglasses

If you're in the market for a pair of toddler sunglasses, it's important to note the three distinct lens types:

  • Polarized: Polarized sunglasses, sometimes called anti-glare sunglasses, are coated in a special chemical that helps filter and block the light passing through the lens. This helps reduce light glare and, therefore, limit eye strain, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). This type of sunglasses is especially useful in situations where there could be glare from reflected light, such as at the beach or out in the snow. They could also help provide extra protection for kids who have sensitive eyes.

  • Non-polarized: The main difference between polarized and non-polarized glasses is that the latter lacks the additional filter to block out the same amount of glare. Polarization doesn't affect UV ray protection, so both options are safe when it comes to shielding your child's eyes from the sun.

  • Prescription: Does your little one wear eyeglasses? Some toddler sunglasses are customizable so that you can easily swap out commercial lenses for prescription ones. This way, your child will be able to see, plus keep their eyes safe and comfortable all at the same time.

What to look for in toddler sunglasses

When you're shopping for a pair of sunnies for your tot, keep these features in mind:

  • UVA/UVB protection: When buying sunglasses for those little peepers, it's essential to make sure the lenses block 99 to 100 percent of UV light — both UVA and UVB rays. Some brands might say their glasses provide UV400 protection, which is equivalent to 100 percent UV protection (including UVA and UVB) according to the AAO. Make sure that the sunglasses you're purchasing explicitly say how much UV protection they offer — some that don't give a percentage could offer much less than what is considered safe for kids.

  • Fit: Adult sunglasses are primarily supported by the nose, says Dr. Elkin. But because toddlers' facial features (such as their noses) aren't fully developed, sunglasses need to be supported more by the ears or the head. “The key thing I recommend to families is having glasses with a good strap that goes around the head,” he says. You could also look into pairs with silicone sleeves on the arm of the sunglasses to offer better support on the ear. The width of the frames should fall just beyond the face — wide enough to keep your kid's eyes protected without being uncomfortable.

  • Durability: Look for frames made of silicone or a special titanium alloy, as they are extremely flexible; they can be twisted or bent and still return to their original shape. It's also a good idea to seek out lenses that are scratch- and shatter-resistant. And, as Dr. Elkin suggested, consider a band that goes around the head to help keep sunglasses in place. You should test new sunglasses by looking through the lenses to make sure the image is not distorted and the color of the lenses is uniform. These checks can help ensure that you land on sunglasses that properly protect your child's eyes and aren't just made for looks.

  • Style: Safety features are very important when it comes to selecting the right pair of sunglasses, but that doesn't mean you can't opt for the cutest, best-fitting pair of the bunch. (Even better if your little one likes them because if a toddler doesn't like them, he won't wear them!) These days, you can find just about any shape and style. You'll see plenty of traditional styles like aviators and square style frames, but you can also find lots of fun options like cat-eyes, heart-shaped glasses, floral patterns and more.

  • Age: Your child's age and development may impact the type of sunglasses you buy. For example, an infant who is in a “grabby” phase may benefit from sunglasses that come with straps, while a toddler may find this excess material uncomfortable. Older toddlers may even want to select their own sunglasses as they begin to take more ownership over their own personal style.

How we chose the best toddler sunglasses

We turned to the millions of parents in the What to Expect community to find recommendations on the best pairs of toddler sunglasses they tested with their little ones. This way, we sampled a large number of people to find a variety of different types of sunglasses, especially since what works best for your child might not be the right fit for another. We also scanned online reviews to ensure we were only recommending the best shades at a variety of price points, while also considering the recommendations from the AAO and the expert we interviewed, Dr. Elkin.

While we have a variety of price points, shapes and colors, there are a few necessary features that each option on our list includes. The most important: every pair of sunglasses blocks up to 99 percent of UV light. Next, we ensured that all of the lenses are shatter-resistant (some are even shatter-proof) and the frames are pliant and unbreakable for added durability. So, no matter which of these toddler sunglasses you like best, you can rest assured knowing they'll be safe for your tot's eyes and resistant to withstand wear and tear.

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