Help us spread the National Sunnies Day message that sunnies are important and need to be worn when it is sunny and cloudy weather and in the warm and cold weather. Tell everyone you know that sunnies need to be worn to protect your eyes.

On the 6th of December:

Your donation of $5 will buy one pair of sunnies for one primary school child and help fund vital medical research, as we work every day to save sight.

Wear your sunnies to work or to school on National Sunnies Day, 6th December and help us buy sunnies for primary school children in Queensland.

Extra Information

Sunglasses for all children

While the sun’s unfiltered UV rays can harm and burn skin cells, it can also damage unprotected eyes.  Unlike adults’ ocular lenses, children’s ocular lenses cannot filter the damaging UV light as effectively. As a result, if children do not wear sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat, they are exposed to more UV light especially as they tend to be outside more than adults playing in parks, pools and involved in outdoor sports. With consistent sun exposure and without protection this can lead to a number of eye diseases and growths on the eye including cancer and blindness.

On National Sunnies Day, on 6th December we are encouraging all Queenslanders to give at least five dollars to help protect children’s eyes from harmful rays. Millions of Australians make the conscious decision not to wear sunglasses every time they step outside. Although this may seem harmless, it can lead to eye damage so we really need your help to change this habit. On December 6th wear your sunnies to work or school to show your support.

Sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory but a vital health necessity as excessive exposure to UV light can lead to both short-term and long-term eye problems. When buying sunnies, look out for the marker that says they block out 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. These are often labelled as “UV400″. Sunglasses marked as “fashion sunglasses” or “toy” do not provide sufficient protection from UV exposure even if they appear darkly tinted.

Ophthalmologist Dr David Gunn at Queensland Eye Institute adds, “It is very important to encourage your children to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays to set up good habits for the rest of their life. For very young children it will be hard to get them to wear sunglasses and broad brimmed hats are a great idea. Once they are old enough, you could make it a big event to buy them their first sunglasses so they can look like their parents – lead by example!”

Effects of sun exposure

Swollen or red eyes and hypersensitivity to light are some of the immediate effects from severe exposure. In some extreme cases, this can be photokeratitis which is sunburn of the eye which can lead to vision loss for up to 48 hours. Its symptoms will gradually fade and vision will return. However, with consistent exposure, it can lead to cancer of the eye or eyelid as well as accelerate conditions like age-regulated macular degeneration and cataracts.

About Queensland Eye Institute Foundation

Queensland Eye Institute Foundation (QEIF) is Queensland’s largest independent academic research institute devoted to eye-related health and diseases.

QEIF’s mission is the save sight by providing innovation and excellence in research, education and clinical care to reduce eye disease, improve eye health, and ultimately eliminate preventable blindness. With no government funding we rely on the generosity of donors, businesses and the community.

Donations enable QEIF to develop better treatments for people throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales, purchase the latest equipment, advance clinical trials of new treatments, improve eye health education, and support talented students to become tomorrow’s leaders in eye research.