I want to tell you a true story, it starts in 2018 when I took my wife and children on a special trip to Disneyland Paris. We were really lucky with the weather; bright sunshine and clear blue skies. When we arrived in France I was frustrated to find that I’d forgotten to pack my children’s sunglasses. I did what any father would do – we immediately went to the nearest store to buy some replacements, I needed them to last the summer holiday and beyond.

An idea is forming…

Unfortunately, this was not as easy as I hoped! I have three children and at the time they all required different sizes of frames and lenses. I noticed that each shop or market stall we found only stocked cheap ‘fashion’ sunglasses. These are the common ones made from brittle plastic, usually in funny shapes with small to medium size lenses that barely cover the child’s eye area.

After spending hours walking around the local retail sites I ended up having to pay an extortionate price per pair at a designer store – just so that I could find basic UV protection for my family. My son’s pair of glasses lasted less time than it took to buy them: they fell off somewhere in the theme park, never to be found again!

A year later a similar, even more memorable trip to the shops happened. We received a letter from my kids’ school asking us to provide each child with a set of headphones. This equipment was mandatory so we decided to purchase in-store as it was more convenient. Once again, I spent a long time searching various electronics shops and supermarkets for the best deal. I’m a person who likes to know that I’m getting value for money, that the items I purchase will last a long time.

I finally found myself (and my children) standing in the electronic department of a supermarket looking at a wall of headphones and ear buds. There were so many to choose from, all different patterns and colours. My children immediately saw the pairs they liked, but I was trying to be more cautious. I wanted to know that there was a volume limiter, whether the quality of the sound was good, how long the warranty was for the parts…

The only information that was clearly displayed was the price, the brand and some of the basic functions. I couldn’t tell why a £39.99 pair of headphones was any better than a £15.99 pair. There was nobody to ask what decibel level was safe for my children’s hearing… by this time, my kids had fallen in love with the brightly coloured headphones they recognised from advertising on TikTok, so these were purchased.

When I got home that evening I couldn’t stop thinking about the confusing experience with the headphones, and the frustrating experience with the sunglasses. I felt as though I was being scammed out of money, because there was no way for me to make an informed choice in the stores, in the moment.

I wondered; is there a way to help parents make the right decision for protection, quality and price without all of this hyped-up misleading advertising?

Sun protection is essential

Let's talk about sun protection; I never really had to consider this myself until I became a father. Growing up, my parents let me and my siblings play outside in the bright midday sun for most of the year. We occasionally wore sunglasses and sometimes sunscreen if it was considered to be very hot according to the weather report in the daily newspaper.

Now in 2023 we have the fantastic option to check the detailed forecast for UV levels at the tap of a screen. The reason I was so insistent that my family found a suitable pair of sunglasses in France was because I had recently discovered a concerning fact: "figures from the World Health Organisation estimate that a lack of natural eye protection combined with the disproportionate amount of time children spend playing outdoors could mean that as much as 80% of a lifetimes’ UV is absorbed into the eye by the time a child reaches the age of 18... Cumulative exposure to UV is one of the main risk factors of age related macular degeneration." (

This means that if you don't wear the correct sunglasses when you're growing up, your eyes will suffer greatly when you are older. You can experience loss of peripheral vision, blind spots in your field of vision, blurry vision and a higher risk of cancer – all from not having the correct sun protection for your eyes!

The NIH (National Institute of Health, USA) have been researching the effects of UV rays on the human eye. They have encouraged people to take more care with their eyewear in sunny conditions. "Exposure of the eye is much more influenced by ground reflection than the skin is..." meaning that even if a day doesn't seem particularly sunny, your eyes will be picking up reflected bright light from surfaces such as pavements, grass, water and glass.

At a time when medical understanding of cancer-triggering activities clearly focuses on sun-safety and preventative measures, it seems crazy to me that we do not have this information easily available for parents to view when buying sunglasses for kids. “In the UK almost 9 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented by staying safe in the sun.” (Cancer UK, 2023). Skin cancer affects the eyelids, tear ducts and even the eye itself.

I know that if my parents had been made aware of the damage that sunshine can do to a children’s eyes and skin, they would have taken steps to minimise our exposure at the brightest times of the day, and provided us with suitable sunglasses. I want to give this essential knowledge to families so that they can make the right choice. The sight-saving choice.

What we are doing to shake things up!

It occurred to me that I should take my negative experiences and turn them into positive action. I have created ATOM as a statement against cheap, disposable ‘fashion’ sunglasses for kids. The lenses in these are often just tinted plastic film that does not cover the total eye area. They have no polarisation (designed to reduce glare from light-reflecting surfaces), the frames are also badly formed and do not fit a child’s nose or ears correctly. I want to eliminate these types of glasses as the ‘norm’.

After all, everything great in this world starts with a single ATOM.

At ATOM Kids we will provide information on sun protection that is easy to read and understand for any parent or carer.

We will ensure that we offer affordable quality which translates to real, measurable differences between the glasses we sell and the basic kid’s glasses in a general store.

We will build trust and reliability, focussing on brand reputation above profit.

BLUE LIGHT blockers

These glasses may bring relief from
eye-strain caused by bright screens and lights