The opportunity to view a partial solar eclipse in the Austin area Monday afternoon, August 21, has lots of people excited. But viewing the eclipse poses its own health risks.
The basics of sun safety apply: don’t stare directly at the sun, and always use sunscreen even if it’s overcast. But did you know there are other things you can do to avoid injuries while enjoying the eclipse? Here are 3 tips to stay safe:
1. Stay Hydrated
This may seem like common sense, but hydration is important to remember even in all the excitement! The eclipse will only be partial in Central Texas, but it is predicted to start at 11:41 a.m. and end at 2:39 p.m., with the maximum eclipse visible at 1:10 p.m. This is the hottest time of the year, and the hottest time of the day! The recommended amount of water to drink will vary based on age, weather, and level of activity but a good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces per day. So, for example, a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces a day.
2. Buy Eclipse Glasses or Solar Filters
Even in a solar eclipse you should never look directly at the sun or you may risk permanent damage your eyes! The safe alternative is to use eclipse glasses or solar filters if you have binoculars or a telescope. If you want to buy glasses, NASA recommends welder’s glasses rated at 14 or above. Welder’s glasses can be purchased at welding supply stores, or you can look up where to buy American Astronomical Society recommended glasses here.
3. DIY a Pinhole Projector
A lot of places may have sold out of specialized solar eclipse viewing equipment, but with simple equipment like an empty cereal box, a piece of paper, or even your own hands, you can make a pinhole projector! Pinhole projection works by allowing light to come through a small hole (such as a gap in your fingers) to be projected on another surface. Check out this video tutorial from NASA on how to make your own pinhole projector!
Stay safe and keep hydrated! With four convenient central Texas locations, and around-the-clock expert emergency medical care, Five Star ER is here for you and your family.
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About Five Star ER
Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.
Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.
This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.