Solar eclipse safety

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Learn about keeping yourself and your child safe during a solar eclipse.

Key points

  • These tips can help you and your child stay safe when an eclipse happens.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The moon temporarily blocks the sun and darkens the sky.

Safety tips

Looking directly at the sun at any time is dangerous, including during an eclipse, and can permanently damage your eyes and cause blindness. Children’s eyes let in more light to the retina than adult eyes, which puts them at higher risk of harm if they look at the sun without proper eye protection. Stay safe by staying indoors and rolling down the blinds on exterior windows.

If you choose to view the eclipse, make sure you watch it safely.

Protect your eyes: Looking directly at the sun during the partial phases of the eclipse can cause permanent eye damage. Looking at the sun using binoculars, a camera, or a telescope without any safety filters can cause severe injury. Special solar eclipse glasses, a handheld solar viewer or using a pinhole projector can all be used to safely watch the eclipse. Only use safe solar eclipse glasses - double check to make sure they are not damaged - or handheld viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2. Do not use eclipse glasses with a telescope, camera or binoculars. Regular sunglasses will not protect the eyes from damage during an eclipse. It is safe to watch the eclipse online or on TV.

Protect your child: Make sure your child is able to keep the glasses on and they do not remove them at anytime while watching the eclipse, or make sure they are using the safety method that you have chosen.

Protect your skin: During the phases of an eclipse, the sun can be very bright before it is completely darkened by the moon. Protect skin with sunscreen or clothing.

Be mindful of crowds: Many people may congregate outside to watch the eclipse.

Be aware of distracted drivers: The eclipse may be fascinating but it can also be a distraction. If you are driving at the time of the eclipse, do not take your eyes off the road. If you watch the eclipse outside, please keep your child in safe pedestrian areas.

Last updated: April 5th 2024