A number of child-care facilities in Halifax are taking precautions to keep young ones from potentially damaging their eyes during Monday's partial solar eclipse.

"We're going to keep the blinds down as soon as they get up from nap at 2:30 and we're just going to make it a fun afternoon," said Tanya Dalton, owner of Little Ladybug's Child Care Center, which has children between 18 months and five years of age.

"We have told them not to look at it. But as everyone knows … the first thing they're going to do is look up at the sky because you've told them not to," she said.

"So we're keeping it safe, we're keeping them inside and we're just making it a fun afternoon for them."

'We're making slime'

It's a similar story at New Beginnings Day Care. The kids were playing outside this morning, but they'll be indoors this afternoon, said owner Natalie Lynch.

"I had a lot of requests from parents," she said. "We're making slime and we're going to do muffins and just stay out of the sun, so to speak."

Kids at New Beginnings are between the ages of six and 12, so many of them understand what the solar eclipse is about, she said. But while they're indoors, they're also going to discuss the topic and answer any questions the children might have.


Early risers catch a glimpse of a solar eclipse on the rocks at Peggys Cove, N.S., on Aug. 11, 1999, using an improvised pinhole camera to safely view the phenomenon. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The eclipse is supposed to begin at around 2:40 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. It will peak at 3:53 p.m. with the moon blocking out around 50 per cent of the sun, according to Astronomy Nova Scotia.

It's unsafe to look directly at the sun, except during a brief total eclipse when its surface is completely obscured by the moon, NASA says. Solar filters are needed to look at the sun safely during a partial eclipse, the agency says.

With files from Shaina Luck