Hamilton County officials stress safety measures during total eclipse


Health officials in Hamilton County are stressing the importance of eye safety during the April 8 total solar eclipse. The Hamilton County and Fishers health departments are working to ensure residents don’t get burned by long-term damage from the celestial event.

“Everyone should wear solar viewing glasses with ISO 12312-2 throughout the event,” stated Jim Ginder, health education specialist at the Hamilton County Health Department. “Viewing the partial phases of the eclipse with the naked eye can result in serious eye damage, including retinal burns.”

Symptoms of retinal burns include loss of central vision, distorted vision, altered color vision, blind spots and increased sensitivity to light. Symptoms can occur anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after exposure. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

“Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, do not offer sufficient protection for viewing the sun,” stated Monica Heltz, public health director at the Fishers Health Department. “Sightseers should also refrain from capturing the eclipse through a camera, binoculars, or a telescope without certified solar filters.”

Health officials also warn that traffic congestion during the total solar eclipse could slow emergency response teams. They encourage anyone attending a large event to pack emergency supplies such as first aid kits and rescue medications, and to locate emergency stations upon arrival.

Residents can view safety and preparation resources, including locations to secure certified eclipse glasses, at visitHamiltonCounty.com/Eclipse.