Fulton County Board of Health Offers Eclipse Safety Reminders and Parental Resources | Print |

Eight Eye Health Tips and Six Resources to Safely Experience August 21 Solar Eclipse

The upcoming highly anticipated solar eclipse that has parents and children, local officials and global scientists all excited, is considered by NASA as one of nature’s grandest spectacles.    

On Monday, August 21, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the entire continental United States for the first time in almost 40 years.  Georgia will be among 14 states to experience the total eclipse of the sun.  Residents in North Georgia will be closer to the “path of totality” and will experience more of a total eclipse of the sun.  

While residents in metro Atlanta will be outside the “path of totality,” Fulton County will experience a visible and memorable partial eclipse that will begin approximately 1:05 p.m. and lasts until 4:01 p.m.

The Fulton County Board of Health joins NASA and the CDC in offering these cautionary words:

 “Looking directly at the sun without the correct eye protection, even for a short time, can cause permanent damage to your retinas, a light-sensitive part of the eye that transmits what you see to your brain.

“Viewing either the total eclipse (North Georgia) or partial solar eclipse (Metro Atlanta) should be done through solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

Eight Tips to Keep Your Eyes from Being Damaged during the Eclipse:

1.           If you are in metro Atlanta (which is outside the “path of totality”) you must use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.   Look for the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard   on the eye glass frame.

2.           Stand still, and put on your eclipse glasses before looking up at the eclipse. Turn away to remove your eclipse glasses.   Do not remove them while looking at the sun.    

3.           Do not look at the eclipse through a camera, a telescope or binoculars while using your eclipse glasses — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.

4.           Always inspect your solar filter/glasses before use. If scratched or damaged, discard them. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.      

5.            If you are within the “path of totality” (North Georgia), remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark.     Then, as soon as the sun begins to reappear, put your eclipse glasses back on.    

6.           If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.          

7.           Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

8.           Supervise children viewing the eclipse.    

Furthermore, according to the CDC, sun damage to your eyes can occur without pain, and it can take a few hours or even a few days after viewing the eclipse to have symptoms of damage.   These symptoms may include not being able to see colors as well and loss of central vision, with only side vision remaining. If you notice any symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse, seek immediate help from your eye care professional.

The Fulton County Board of Health Compiles Eclipse Safety Resources for Parents:  

Fulton Delays School Dismissals, Fulton Libraries Host Viewing Parties,

NASA Offers Live Streaming

1.           Fulton County Schools to Delay Elementary School Dismissals:   Fulton County schools will have a 45-minute delayed dismissal for elementary schools on August 21.   This will in turn affect the bus schedules for middle and high school students.   Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with your child’s school to confirm dismissal time.   More information on school dismissal is available at  http://www.fultonschools.org/en/Pages/FCSSpotlight.aspx?item=337

2.           Fulton County Branch Libraries Offer FREE glasses and Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties:   The FREE solar glasses are virtually gone but the viewing parties are still on.   Bring your glasses to the party nearest you:  https://afpls.blogspot.com/2017/07/2017-solar-eclipse-viewing-programs-at.html

3.           Video:   How to Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse, a five-minute video by American Astronomical Society (AAS)      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTCkC5ANlJg

 4.           Safety Factsheet on Eclipse Viewing:   Refer to safety factsheet from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) at  https://www.aoa.org/Documents/public/AAS-Solar-Eclipse-Safety-v170210.pdf

5.           FREE NASA Livestream.   View the eclipse from NASA’s Live Stream at  https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive

6.           Eclipse glasses and solar filters:   Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) at  https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers to be compliant to the ISO 12312-2 international safety standards.