Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended safety tips to New Yorkers viewing the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.
In New York City, a partial solar eclipse will occur between 1pm and 4pm – and peak at 2:44 pm, when more than 70 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon. City officials are urging New Yorkers to take proper safety precautions when enjoying this event, especially to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.
“Solar eclipses are extraordinary and beautiful cosmic events, and we want to make sure New Yorkers enjoy next Monday’s eclipse safely,” said Mayor de Blasio. “New York City is hundreds of miles from the total solar eclipse that will be experienced in the Carolinas, but a partial eclipse can also do serious and permanent damage to the eyes. Even if it’s a cloudy day, we are asking that anybody who is outside Monday afternoon make special preparations and drive safely.”
If driving, carefully guard against direct sunlight exposure to the eyes. Also, during the 2 p.m. hour, drivers should turn on headlights.
“New Yorkers who have to drive on Monday should know it will be a very unusual day, with dusk-like darkness in the middle of the afternoon. We are urging extra caution – especially in the 2pm hour, when we strongly recommend you drive with headlights.”
The following urgent message was shared by an Optometrist:
“Beware heimishe stores are selling to our children glasses advertised as eclipse glasses that are not certified and are dangerous. I went into Eichlers they have a big sign on the front window claiming to have eclipse glasses. I checked the glasses and the box. It had box certifications I asked the cashier and they said it isn’t certified. They sell it for $2- no certified glasses goes for $2-.
Beware our children are being misled and their eyes can have permanent damage from this. Please forward.”
Also shared from Optometrist Michael Schecter:
“As an Optometrist, I want to express concern that I have about the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug 21. There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even when using solar filter glasses. Everyone should keep in mind if they or their children are considering this.
We have to keep in mind that some people will encounter the inability to control every aspect of this exercise. For instance, many solar eclipse glasses are made for adults, do not fit children well and should not be used without direct parental supervision. If the solar glasses do not filter out 100% of the harmful UV rays, if they are not used absolutely perfectly, or should there be a manufacturing defect in any of them, this will result in permanent and irreversible vision loss for any eye exposed. Just like sunburn to the skin, the effects are not felt or noticed immediately. I have a great fear that I will have patients in my office on Tuesday, Aug 22 who woke up with hazy, blurry vision that I cannot fix.
The biggest danger with children is ensuring proper use without direct parental supervision. As the eclipse passes over many places, the moon will not block 100% of the sun. Because so much of its light is blocked by the moon, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun does on a regular day. Normally if you try to look at the sun, it physically hurts and you can’t see anything. During an eclipse, however, it is easier to stare for a bit….and even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right to your most precious central vision. With solar glasses you can’t see ANYTHING except the crescent of light of the sun. Kids could have a tendency to want to peek around the filter to see what is actually going on up there. One failure, just one, where education and supervision fail, will have such a devastating consequence.
Please, please be safe, or watch it on television if you do not have proper protection.
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