The Eclipse is April 8, 2024

Mar 29, 2024, 14:29 PM by Dr. Sally Robinson

Nothing more constant than the sun rising and setting. The sun is truly the center of our universe. It is understandable that when the relatively tiny moon completely blocks the sun’s powerful light, the world seems to stop.  A complete solar eclipse is coming very soon and everyone is talking about it.  It’s a time of awe and respect of the physical forces that surround us.

This coming Monday, April 8th the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth blocking sunlight and casting a shadow on our planet.  This shadow will stretch from Texas to Maine and where the shadow is complete it will be 115 miles wide.  Galveston County will not be in the complete shadow but will experience a partial eclipse.

Dr. Sylvia Yoo discusses solar eclipse safety in At no time either in a complete or partial eclipse should the reader or their children look directly at the sun.  It is NEVER safe to look for a few seconds.  Permanent retinal damage can occur in less than 100 seconds. As the retina does not have pain receptors, you do not know that these delicate cells are being harmed.  It may take several days to even have symptoms of the burn with pain in the eye, watery eyes, etc.  The damage can be distorted vision, loss of central vision, or altered color vision.  If you are in the “zone” and the sun is completely blocked for a few minutes it would be safe to look but still be extremely cautious.

Children as well as adults will be excited by this event but need to be carefully prepared about looking at the sun.  A solar eclipse should only be viewed with eclipse glasses.  Regular sunglasses will not protect the eye.  No maker of sunglasses has been able to design a sunglass that is 100% protective.  Let me repeat.  Sunglasses, even with UV protection, polarizing filters, X-ray film, or photographic neutral density filters not designed for viewing a solar eclipse, are NOT safe.  It is NOT safe to use a telescope, binoculars or camera viewfinder without a solar filter even if you are wearing eclipse glasses as the focused rays can burn through the filter and then damage the eyes.  With proper camera solar filters you do not need to wear eclipse glasses.

For younger children or those with developmental disabilities consider making the eclipse glasses more secure by creating a wider shield out of a paper plate.  For more tips on solar eclipse safety for children look at (  There are other ways to experience a solar eclipse using a pinhole projector.  For information about building and using these projectors look at (

NASA will live screen the solar eclipse, so that a cloudy day will not foil your plans for viewing.  You can also watch the live stream to see the total eclipse if you are not in the path of totality.  A “trailer” can be viewed on (

Be careful and have fun.

by Sally Robinson, MD Clinical Professor

Keeping Kids Healthy

Published 03/2024




Also See:  

UTMB Pediatrics - Pediatric Primary Care
UTMB After Hours Urgent Care
UTMB Clear Lake Hospital - Pediatric ER & Inpatient Unit


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