Staying safe in the sun

15 minutes is all it takes for the sun to damage your skin

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The sun is good for you, but it can also cause problems.

Fifteen minutes is all it takes for the sun to damage your skin.

“You can get skin cancer, and other things so it’s really not good,” said Bobbi Leiberman of Belchertown. “You have to really protect yourself and not stay out for long period of time.”

Too much sun exposure can leave you with sunburns, feeling dehydrated, and skin cancer.

The Green River Swimming and Recreation Area in Greenfield is a popular spot for residents to cool off during the summer. On hot days like Tuesday, it was important for people to find shade and wear sunscreen to protect them from the sun.

“Some of the kids were opting to just stay under the shade so we have to make sure and check in with the kids to make sure they are getting enough shade even with the sunblock on,” said Rachelle Perrine, Teacher at Neari School in Holyoke.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center is getting more patients seeking relief from too much time in the sun.

“A lot of first and second degree burns have been seen in our ER and some of these are very painful and troublesome,” said Dr. Sunbeep Shukla, Associate Medical Director of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Dr. Shukla told 22News even if you’re in the shade, wear sunscreen. He said the sun’s rays can bounce off your surroundings and be just as harmful as hitting you directly.

The rays are typically the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. He recommends sunblock with at least SPF 15 for adults and SPF 30 for children.