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St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): One medical doctor in the federation is emphasizing the danger of staring at the sun during Monday afternoon’s solar eclipse.

Former Chief Medical Officer Patrick Martin, says he is concerned especially about young children.

He is urging parents to adopt necessary precautions.

“The temptation is likely to be that persons would look up at the sun especially children. Children will look up at the sun from 2:30 in the afternoon when the place starts to get dark and so the advice is that looking directly at the sun for one second is dangerous. The sun’s ultra violet radiation and other forms of radiation cause injury to the cells and tissues of the eyes. Anything from blurry vision, to pain, to cataracts, to dark spots in the eyesight is possible, so its not worth the risk. The advice is do not look directly at the sun at anytime from 2:30 to about 4:50 pm, don’t look at the sun through your cell phone camera or any camera, do not look at the sun with any type of sunglasses, binoculars, telescope, stained glass. Just don’t look directly at the sun because you will have a complication. The only safe way to look at the eclipse is through lens that are appropriately made for that purpose. Those lens will be stamped ISO 12312-2.”

Dr Martin’s warning is being echoed in other parts of the region.

People are being cautioned against looking directly at the sun, eclipsed or otherwise, without any protective eyewear.

The experts warn that the Sun’s UV radiation can burn the retinas in the eyes leading to permanent damage or even blindness.

Patrick Martin says that cannot be over-emphasized.

“Do not look at the sun by any means, adults should ensure that their children are kept indoors because children will naturally look up when they notice something is happening. It’s not enough to tell your child do not look at the sun you have to physically take the child indoors and keep them under lock and key until the eclipse is over at 4:50 pm."

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