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Nurse's Tips: Solar Eclipse Safety
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Sarah Beckmann, School Nurse

Tips for safely viewing a solar eclipse!

I am excited for the start of a new school year! Watching the students come in with big toothy (or often toothless) grins and hearing them call out, “Hi, Nurse Sarah!” always puts a smile on my face. With the new year upon us, I wanted to share some information on a few preventative health concerns.

In case you’ve missed the news, a solar eclipse path will cross the nation on Monday, August 21. Our 6th grade students will be on campus for orientation during the eclipse, and we have taken measures to ensure their safety at school. I’d like to pass on some safety information for you to use at home as well.

Protect your eyes! Never look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse. Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

There are several safe ways to view the eclipse, from indirect projection projects to special eclipse glasses. Be aware that when using eclipse glasses, they act as a blindfold when not looking at the sun, so watch your kids carefully to help them protect both eyes and bodies!

A few unsafe ways to watch an eclipse include wearing regular (even very dark) sunglasses, using your smartphone or tablet, and using a camera viewfinder without the proper equipment. After the eclipse, seek treatment from an eye care professional if you or your child have any changes in vision that do not rapidly and fully improve.
For more reliable information on safety, including safe viewing products, check out these resources:

Photo courtesy of Nasa.gov

Wishing everyone a healthy and safe school year!

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