GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Today marks the first day of summer and with warmer temperatures on the horizon, it's important to know how to keep yourself and your family safe to avoid heat related illnesses and death.
Many summer events and activities take place outdoors in the sun and excessive heat exposure can be especially dangerous to the elderly, infants and children.
Officials say prevention is key to protecting your health and The Mesa County Health Department offers a few tips to beat the heat.
-Drink plenty of fluids and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
-Avoid beverages containing alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
-Stay cool by carefully scheduling time outdoors and rest in the shade.
-Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and plenty of sunblock.
The health department warns against leaving your children and pets in cars.
"Animals or children in a vehicle at this temperature isn't a good idea. Even with the windows cracked, it's still not a good idea. Typically the temperature in your vehicle is going to run about 20 degrees warmer than it is outside, so just making sure that you're planning ahead," said Tamara Capp of the Mesa County Health Department.