Sun, Fun, and Safety: 4 Tips on Prepping Kids for the April 8 Total Solar Eclipse

With the April eclipse getting closer, many parents are probably stuck on one question: Should the kids come watch, or is it safer to leave them behind? 

It’s a legit worry. 

The sun’s no friend to little eyes, and let’s be real, telling a kid not to do something is like inviting them to do just that.

Kids are naturally smart about not staring into the sun because it’s too bright, but an eclipse? That’s different. It’s tempting. They might try to sneak a peek, and that’s where the trouble starts.

Don’t stress! Here are some straightforward tips to make sure the total eclipse is a cool experience for parents and their kiddos, without any eye risk.

Modify Standard Eclipse Glasses with a Paper Plate

Attach your child’s eclipse glasses to a paper plate by cutting two small slits for the earpieces to slide through.

Make a V-shaped notch at the bottom of the paper plate. This notch will accommodate the nose, ensuring a comfy and snug fit.

If the glasses seem too big for your little one, tie elastic, ribbon, or rubber band to the sides of the plate. This way, the plate can be held securely against the child’s face, just like a mask.

Why do this? This setup blocks extra light from the sides and keeps your kid from peeking. Plus, NASA gives it a thumbs up too, so it’s absolutely safe!

And it’s a fun, modern take on the old 1963 hack, where kids placed big boxes over their heads as eclipse viewers.

Use a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen with an SPF 30 or Higher

While eye protection is crucial, don’t overlook skin safety when getting kids ready for the eclipse.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that guards against UVA and UVB rays. Usually, SPF 15 is enough for a normal day, but for an event like an eclipse where you and your kids will be outside longer, go for SPF 30 or higher

Apply sunscreen generously on their exposed body parts, using about one ounce per child. 

Reapply if more than two hours have passed since the initial application for continued protection.

Be careful not to get sunscreen in their eyes. It can sting and cause discomfort. If it does get there, they might try to rub their eyes and potentially take off their eclipse glasses.


Pack Protective Items & Comfort Snacks

Remember to pack some warm clothes for the kids, like jackets or sweaters, because you should expect a temperature drop of 10° Fahrenheit or maybe more depending on your location. 

And if you’re a traveler, pack plenty of snacks and water. Kids often munch more when they’re on a trip, either from boredom or just to pass the time.

Do Practice Runs

Try on the eclipse glasses with your kids a few times before the big day. Lead by example – if they see you wearing yours, they’ll likely keep theirs on. 

Also, if they’re warned against not looking directly, they will understand. Even if you’ve to promise them a treat like McDonald’s, do it.

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