Expert tips, precautions for troublemakers, eclipse glasses and more

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Spectators in Chapel Hill, NC watch the solar eclipse.  What should parents know about the solar eclipse?  (Image via Getty)

What should parents know about the solar eclipse? (Image via Getty)

A total solar eclipse is coming to parts of Canada on April 8, which may leave some parents wondering: What should I do with my young children? For many Canadian parents or guardians, this astronomical event is exciting, but also quite scary. The solar eclipse poses potential safety risks, especially when it comes to young children who – unsure of what to do – stare directly at the sun. Or, in other cases, they may not be interested in observing the solar eclipse. While it may seem easier and safer to keep your kids indoors or put on a movie to distract them during the big event, this total solar eclipse is for astrophysicist Dr. Nikhil Arora a great opportunity to teach young children about space and get them excited about science.

Can children watch the solar eclipse? An expert says yes

“This [eclipse] is a big problem,” says Arora, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Queen’s University and Queen’s Eclipse Outreach Coordinator, Yahoo Canada. “Mainly because it’s rare.”

Although eclipses occur every 18 months, many of them occur above water, out of sight of many major cities. The chance of a solar eclipse occurring over one specific spot on the planet for an extended period of time, such as the upcoming total solar eclipse, is much rarer, happening almost every 400 years. ‘It is more than [a] once in a lifetime,” says Arora.

Not to mention that – in an increasingly exclusionary world – these eclipses are accessible to everyone. “If you think of any other astronomical event, [if] you want to see a meteor shower [or] you want to see comets or planets, you either need expensive telescopes or you have to drive somewhere,” notes Arora. That is not the case with eclipses. ‘The nice thing about eclipses is that [from] The time you wear eclipse glasses, you simply step out of your home or workspace and become part of it.”

How children can watch the solar eclipse safely

A young girl looking at the sun during a solar eclipse at a country park, family outdoor activity.A young girl looking at the sun during a solar eclipse at a country park, family outdoor activity.

It is important to protect your eyesight when observing the solar eclipse. (Getty)

While parents’ concerns about the safety of their children during a unique event like a total solar eclipse are valid, if properly prepared, children can enjoy the solar eclipse as much as anyone. “If you think about it, most of the things you do during the day are also very dangerous,” says Arora.

“It’s that ideology that we’re trying to put forward, yes, it’s dangerous, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide from it. It just means that we have to figure out ways for people to actually experience the depth of It.”

And do that in a fun and interesting way. As part of their outreach, Arora and members of the Ontario Eclipse Task Force – formed two years ago and consisting of several astronomers – came together to provide teachers with an education kit, providing them with resources to educate youth from grades 1 to 12 to lead. the solar eclipse and offering various activities in the run-up to and on the date of the event.

“One of the coolest things we have seen and done in schools is pinhole camera workshops,” says Arora. These cameras, made from a variety of inexpensive materials, are one of the safest ways to view the solar eclipse because children actually look away from the sun while watching. “So for very young children, they can actually use these to be part of the eclipse, but it’s completely safe because they never actually stare,” says Arora.

Are there situations where I should keep my children indoors?

While it is safe for children to watch the solar eclipse if they are armed with eclipse glasses or a pinhole camera, there are some situations when it may make more sense for parents to keep them indoors.

“You can put the approved glasses on, but make sure kids understand the rules,” Dr. Ronald Benner, president of the American Optometric Association, recently. Yahoo life.

Experts also say parents should be honest with themselves about their children’s behavior.

If you don’t think they will follow the rules, don’t take them out. Be safe and have no regrets.Dr. Ronald Benner

Young children may not understand the rules and consequences; some may be inclined to break the rules, and people with conditions like autism may have a harder time keeping the glasses on and following the precautions. “If you don’t think they will follow the rules, don’t take them out. Be safe and have no regrets,” Benner also said. Yahoo life.

For parents who want to keep their children indoors but still want them to experience the eclipse, an online livestream between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. will follow the eclipse as it moves across the country.

How do I know if solar eclipse glasses are legit?

According to a Global news According to the report, as the solar eclipse approaches, there has been an increase in the number of counterfeit eclipse glasses on the market, posing a significant risk to consumers. Fake glasses may not provide sufficient protection, leading to possible eye damage when observing the sun’s phenomena.

The American Astronomical Society warned last week that fake eclipse glasses are “polluting the market.” In February, Amazon withdrew listings of counterfeit products, a spokesperson said Global news, “it continuously monitors its store and takes action to maintain a safe selection for customers, including removing non-compliant products.”

Experts emphasized the importance of purchasing glasses that meet the international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe sun viewing. An option for Canadians is the Soluna solar eclipse glasses, produced in the USA by NASA-approved manufacturer American Paper Optics. The product has also been recognized by the American Astronomical Society and verified for authenticity through the Amazon Transparency Program.


The Soluna glasses filter 100% of harmful ultraviolet and 99.999% of intense visible light.

$30 at Amazon

According to the AAS, you shouldn’t be able to see anything through good eclipse glasses. You should only be able to see very bright lights faintly. “If you can see something else, such as household items or pictures on the wall, your glasses are not dark enough to look at the sun,” the agency warned.

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