Most adults understood the potential dangers of looking at the recent eclipse without using special glasses or telescopes. Getting kids to understand this—and keep the glasses on—can be a different story, however.
Find out what type of damage staring at the sun during an eclipse can cause. Then you’ll be prepared if your children show signs of eye damage in the next few days.
What to look for
In the days and first two weeks after an eclipse, people who looked at the sun without the proper eye protection may experience symptoms of retina damage such as:
- A blind spot in one or both eyes
- Differences in the way you perceive color
- Visual distortion
- Blurry vision
- Hypersensitivity to light
If your child has any of these symptoms, you should take them to the doctor immediately to determine if their site is damaged.
Surprisingly, eye pain is typically not a symptom. There are no pain receptors in the retina, so while the damage may be extensive and permanent, people do not experience pain.
Was anyone to blame if damage occurred?
Sorting out liability in situations such as these can be tricky. It’s possible that no one was negligent. In some cases, however, there may be a negligent party.
Some optometrists worry that even with the protective glasses, looking at an eclipse is dangerous. One doctor in Ohio wrote, “There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even when using solar filter glasses.”
Other people worried that some of the protective glasses may be defective, which may cause eye injuries. Hold on to your glasses until you are sure your eyes and your kids’ eyes are okay.
If your children’s eyes suffered injury while at school or day care, you may be able to hold the facility liable. Speak with a lawyer to learn about your options.