While summertime can offer many health benefits, it also comes with its own set of risks due to high temperatures. Children, older adults, and animals are particularly at risk of exhaustion and heat-related illnesses.

"If you're outside and you're working pretty strenuously if you're already dehydrated going into it, and you're not taking care of yourself very well, you can get heat exhaustion relatively quickly," said John Witt from Acadian Ambulance, Louisiana. Here are a few tips to beat the heat this season.

1. Take breaks under shade to cool off

Even if you have to spend most of the day outside, make time to get away from the sun every now and then. Don't hesitate to walk into a public library or shopping mall and take a while to cool off when temperatures are high. 

"To stay indoors or in shade even just an hour or two out of the heat can really help the body repair," said Elizabeth Merson, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program Manager.

2. Wear loose, light-colored clothing

Stay away from the tight-fitting, synthetic or dark-colored pieces of your wardrobe as they can absorb heat and restrict air flow. Cotton is considered the most suitable material for this kind of weather as it can absorb moisture (sweat) easily.

Of course, accessories like hats and sunglasses are also recommended to protect your eyes and skin against permanent damage caused by sun exposure.

3. Head down to lower floors of buildings

Since hot air rises, the upper floors of a building tend to be warmer compared to the lower ones. If possible, consider sleeping on the ground floor or even the basement for a naturally cool environment. Covering windows with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers can reduce the levels of indoor heat by up to 80 percent.

4. Limit your intake of soda and alcohol

You may want to reconsider reaching for soda cans or wine glasses during the hotter days of the year, as tempting as they may be. While soda may seem extremely refreshing, research has shown it can actually have a dehydrating effect. 

Alcohol, on the other hand, should be consumed with caution as it can lead to increased urine output. Alternating with sips of water between drinks can help reduce the risk of dehydration.

5. Avoid using handheld electric fans

The Federal Emergency Management Agency advised people to not use the devices, even though they are marketed to provide relief on hot, summer days.

"Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature," their website stated.

They have a drying effect on our skin which can prevent natural evaporation from taking place. If the outdoor temperature is 95 degrees or more, using the fans could potentially increase the risk of heat-related illness.