Solar Eclipse Safety Information – Public Health

Posted April 5, 2024

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the Moon’s orbit will position it directly between the Earth and the
Sun, causing a solar eclipse. The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region will experience a partial
eclipse from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no safe time to look at the Sun
without appropriate eye protection.

What are the health risks?
Looking at the sun at any time without appropriate eye protection can cause damage to your
retina (the tissue at the back of your eyes) that could lead to blindness. This risk still exists
during an eclipse.

Watching the progress of an eclipse may mean being in direct sunlight for a long period of time.
Skin damage can be prevented by wearing sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing.

  • How to protect yourself if you choose to view the solar eclipse?
    • Viewing the solar eclipse is exciting and there are ways to enjoy the event safely.
    • Use approved eye protection, eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. These devices
    must meet a worldwide standard ISO Standard 12312-2:2 (they should have manufacturer’s
    name and address printed on the product). Follow instructions provided with the solar filters.
    • If you wear eyeglasses, the eclipse glasses should be placed over your eyeglasses, or an
    eclipse viewer should be placed in front of them.
    • Sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters are not safe for looking at the sun.
    • Do not look at the Sun (eclipsed or otherwise) through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars
    or other optical device even if you are wearing approved eye protection.
    • Children may need extra supervision during eclipses and using solar viewers.
    • Consider alternative ways of viewing the solar eclipse such as watching a livestream online
    video of the eclipse or building a pinhole projector. A pinhole projector projects a shadow
    outline of the sun on a screen or surface. If using a pinhole projector, ensure you
    understand how to use it and never look at the sun through the pinhole.
    Where can I learn more information about the solar eclipse?
    • Canadian Association of Optometrists
    • American Academy of Ophthalmology
    • Canadian Space Agency
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario

Adapted with permission of Ottawa Public Health. For educational and non-commercial purposes only


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