Health department offers eclipse tips

Follow safety rules to protect your eyes and enjoy the event.

The Allegan County Health Department offers information about the April 8 total solar eclipse.

The event will start about 1:55 p.m., peak about 3:14 p.m. and end about 4:24 p.m.

Safety precautions must be followed. During this time many people may view the eclipse without safety protection for their eyes. These actions can result in long-term injury to the eyes. To avoid causing damage to the eyes follow these do and don’t tips:

DO

  • Use eclipse glasses or solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 standards (sometimes written as ISO 12312-2:2015). But do not stare continuously at the sun. Take breaks and give your eyes a rest.
  • Use a box pinhole viewer. Learn how to make one
  • Use a pinhole projector. Learn how to make one
  • Use your hands to cast shadows on the ground. Cross your hands with fingers slightly spread to create a waffle pattern. Look down and you will see the spaces between your fingers project a shadow image of the sun in a crescent shape during the partial eclipse stages.
  • Look at shadows on the ground, such as under a leafy tree, during the partial eclipse. You can see the crescent sun shadows projected by the spaces between the leaves.

DON’T

  • Do not look at the sun directly.
  • Do not view through regular sunglasses. No matter how dark they are, they will not protect your eyes.
  • Do not use damaged eclipse sunglasses or solar viewers. If they are torn, scratched or punctured, do not use them and throw them away. If the filters are coming out of their frames, discard them.
  • Do not use homemade filters.
  • Do not view through welder’s glass. The glass in most welding helmets is not strong enough.
  • Do not view through your camera viewfinder.
  • Do not view through a telescope without the proper solar filter. Do not view the telescope using your eclipse sunglasses either.
  • Do not view through binoculars.

For more tips on how to stay safe, the health department recommends GrKids.

For more information on the Allegan County Health Department, visit here. The department is at 3255 122nd Ave. Ste. 200, Allegan, and can be reached at (269) 673-5411.