Keeping Families Safe: How to safely watch the Great American Eclipse

Keeping Families Safe: How to safely watch the Great American Eclipse (WKEF/WRGT)

KEEPING FAMILIES SAFE: The last time a total eclipse of the sun crossed the United States coast to coast was 99 years ago, so suffice it to say Monday's eclipse will be an historic event. But if you don't watch safely, a few minutes of looking up into the sky could end up costing you your vision as Deborah Linz explains in her Keeping Families Safe report.

August 21, people across the U.S. will witness a rare and spectacular celestial event: a total solar eclipse. Eclipse parties will overshadow work and school for many that day, and cities along the path of totality are preparing for an onslaught of visitors. But we all need to be safe.

“Just even a few seconds with the naked eye can cause permanent vision loss”, optometrist Dr. Brian Landrum said.

Landrum said our eyes don't have pain fibers, so like a sunburn, you won't know there’s a problem until days later and that problem could result in blurred vision, even complete loss of vision.

And he said don't be deceived; even though it gets darker outside during an eclipse, “there’s really the same amount of energy, infrared ultra violet in those light rays and it will cause the same amount of damage.”

So for your eyes sake be sure to invest in a certified pair of solar glasses as recommended by the American Astronomical Society. The filters remove 99.99 percent of the suns visible light and 100 percent of the harmful UV.

Also, purchase directly from the manufacturer so you know you aren't getting fake glasses. They should be compliant with international safety standards and stamped with this number 123-12-2.

So enjoy this rare opportunity but do it safely.

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