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American Medical Response offers solar eclipse viewing safety tips


Mon, Apr 1st 2024 09:20 am

Submitted by American Medical Response

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over the City of Buffalo at approximately 3:18 p.m. EDT. With Buffalo in the direct path of totality as the moon passes between the sun and earth, close to 1 million viewers are expected to gather for the sight. American Medical Response (AMR) wants to provide observers with ways to stay safe and healthy while enjoying this natural phenomenon.

“Viewing a solar eclipse is an extraordinary sight worth seeing,” said Eric Conley, operations manager for AMR. “To ensure a safe eclipse viewing experience while in a large crowd, there are a few things people should keep in mind.”

AMR advises:

√ NEVER look directly at the sun. You must view a solar eclipse through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses. No matter how dark regular sunglasses are, they are not safe for viewing the sun.

√ Inspect eclipse glasses and handheld viewers before use. Check for tears, scratches and other visible damage. Throw away damaged glasses or viewers – do not use them.

√ Do not use eclipse glasses or handheld viewers with cameras, telescopes, binoculars or any other optical device. The concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury.

√ If using a solar filter on a camera, binoculars or telescope, you do not need to wear eclipse glasses. These solar filters must be attached to the front of devices and will protect your eyes the same way eclipse glasses do. Consult an astronomer before using a solar filter on optical devices to ensure proper fit and use.

√ Use an indirect viewing method. If you do not have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method, which does not involve looking directly at the sun. Find out more here about pinhole and optical projection methods: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/projection.

√ Supervise children closely. Monitor children and ensure proper use of eclipse glasses and solar viewers at all times.

√ Protect your skin. The sun will still be very bright during a solar eclipse, and you may be in direct sunlight for hours while viewing. Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing to prevent sunburn and skin damage.

√ Be aware of the crowd. If you find yourself in the middle of a crowd that’s closing in, make your way to the corners of the crowd. If you are unable to move to the outside corners of the crowd, focus on standing firm and go with the flow of the crowd until you can find a way out.  

√ Designate a meeting spot. Cell phones can quickly run out of battery. It is important to have a designated meeting spot for you and your group should you get separated.

For more information on solar eclipse safety, visit solarsystem.nasa.gov.

More about American Medical Response (AMR)

American Medical Response Inc., America’s leading provider of emergency medical services, provides mobile health care in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 28,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to care for more than 4.8 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. For more information about AMR, visit www.amr.net or follow American Medical Response on Facebook @AMR_Social on X/Twitter and Instagram.

AMR is part of Global Medical Response. With nearly 36,000 team members, Global Medical Response delivers compassionate, quality medical care, primarily in the areas of emergency medical services and patient relocation services in the U.S. and around the world. GMR was formed by combining the industry leaders in air, ground, mobile health care services, and community, industrial/specialty and wildland fire services. For additional information, on LinkedIn or at www.GlobalMedicalResponse.com.


The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. Niagara Frontier Publications does not provide medical or safety advice.

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