Solar Eclipse Safety

On Monday, April 8, 2024, there will be a solar eclipse when the moon moves between the sun and the earth. In Norfolk County, it is expected to be a near-total solar eclipse between 2:02 p.m. and 4:31 p.m., with the peak happening at 3:18 p.m. That’s when most of the sun’s light will be covered by the moon. Since this occurs when many people are returning home from work, it is important to plan ahead and take precautions. As an additional safety measure, schools in the Haldimand-Norfolk area will be closed on the day of the eclipse.

We encourage everyone to plan accordingly, taking into account the potential for increased traffic and the importance of protecting one’s eyes when observing the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Safety

Looking directly at the sun or an eclipse without proper eye protection can cause severe and permanent harm to your eyes, potentially resulting in blindness. To safely experience the eclipse, please follow these essential guidelines:

  • Do Not Look Directly at the Eclipse: Avoid direct observation without specific eye protection.
  • Use Approved Solar Eclipse Viewers: Only view the eclipse through devices or filters that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard. Such filters will render the sun’s brightness similar to that of a full moon, ensuring safe observation.
  • Avoid Improper Filters: Do not use homemade filters, regular sunglasses, camera lenses, smoked glass, photographic negatives, x-ray film, or any items not specifically designed for eclipse viewing. This also applies to any optical device like a telescope or binoculars not equipped with a proper solar filter.
  • Inspect Your Viewer or Filter: If the sun appears too bright, unfocused, or hazy, or if you have doubts about the safety of your viewing device, do not use it.
  • Child Supervision: Pay extra attention to children. Their eyes are more susceptible to damage due to increased light sensitivity. Ensure they use appropriate eye protection.

 Viewing the solar eclipse without proper protection can cause solar retinopathy, a condition where the retina is damaged, leading to vision impairment or loss. Symptoms can appear 12 to 48 hours post-exposure and include blurred vision, temporary or permanent vision loss, and retinal burns. Unfortunately, once symptoms manifest, the damage is often irreversible.

If you or anyone you know experiences changes in vision following the eclipse, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention from a hospital or an optometrist. Do not attempt to drive; prioritize safety and seek assistance.

This eclipse is a unique event for us all, but safety comes first. Make sure to follow these guidelines for a safe viewing experience for yourself and others.

Thank you for helping to make this eclipse viewing safe and enjoyable.

Learn more about eclipses