Kansas City,
08:51 AM

Helpful tips as Midwest prepares for August 21 solar eclipse

Doctors say the event poses real risks

eclipse glasses

For the first time in 111 years, parts of the Kansas City area will witness a total eclipse of the sun on Monday, August 21. And since the next one isn’t taking place in the United States until April 2024, many will be interested in the event.

Experts say there are a few things to keep in mind...

  • If you choose to watch, wear approved glasses. It’s unsafe to directly look at the sun (either outside or through a window or mobile phone) without approved eclipse glasses because it can cause permanent eye damage.
  • If you don’t have approved glasses, do not watch the eclipse. NASA recommends only using eclipse glasses that have ISO 12312-2 printed on them. Do not use any glasses that have scratches on the lens.

“The eclipse, while truly a remarkable event, poses some real risks,” said Scott Olitsky, MD, Section Chief of Ophthalmology at Children's Mercy.

“Everyone should be aware that not all areas of our metro will experience a total eclipse, which means they have to wear approved eclipse glasses at all times to view it. If they don’t, the danger to their vision can be significant. Unfortunately, there is no treatment to reverse eye damage caused by looking at an eclipse. By wearing the proper glasses and taking precautions, you should be able to safely enjoy what is sure to be a spectacular event.”

When the moon's shadow moves across the United States on August 21, millions of Americans will hope to catch the coast-to-coast solar eclipse somewhere along the narrow path of totality, while the rest of the nation will experience a partial eclipse.

An eclipse is truly an awe-inspiring event. The skies will turn dark, temperatures will drop 20-30 degrees and stars will appear. Animals also will go about their normal nightly activities once the sky becomes dark.


For more information about the eclipse, visit the NASA eclipse website.

Click here for more information about the timing of the eclipse.

Learn more about the Division of Ophthalmology at Children's Mercy.