The summertime heat is kicking in early this year, and while it's too early to say if it will be one for the record books, the heat can be dangerous.

There are some common sense things you can do to keep from suffering heat exhaustion or worse yet a heat stroke.

Whether you are having to work in the elements or just out recreating, be sure and not over do it. Take as many breaks as you can in the shade or retreat to air conditioning if possible.

It is very important to keep from becoming dehydrated. Drinking lots of water is the best advice, followed by Gatorade type drinks that can re-hydrate you. Avoid alcohol which can actually make things worse.

If someone appears to be over heating get them out of the sun and cool them down and give them water. If it is more serious obviously call 9-1-1.

Due to solar radiation it can feel anywhere from 10-15 degrees hotter in the sun than in the shade. Remember, if you are going to be in the sun for an extended period to apply sunscreen to keep yourself from getting a nasty sunburn and possible someday skin cancer.

Remember temperatures inside a vehicle can soar rapidly to temperatures of as high as 170 degrees in the heat of summer. Do not ever leave children or pets unattended as the situation is dangerous and can become deadly quickly.

Finally, remember to check frequently on the elderly or friends and family who have health problems to make sure their homes are cooling properly. Also make sure that outdoor pets have plenty of cool water and shade.

The dog days of summer seem to be hitting early this year, hopefully it won't be one for the record books, but whatever the case, have fun, but stay safe.