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Summer is in full swing.

The time to slow down, relax, take a vacation. Sand, surf, sun —  the stuff of summer days and nights. It’s time for adventuring and exploring. Time to stick your feet in the water and completely forget your responsibilities, if only for a few hours.

Pure bliss.

Except, you can pretty much bet on your bliss turning into blisters if you don’t watch out. May-June has been the hottest in recorded history for most of the Contiguous US. At least, it is according to the data and statistics recorded as of January 1895 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For most of us, that means we are in the hottest summer ever recorded in 123 years. It’s HOT out there, folks!

You need to be smart in order to beat the heat.

Here are a few ways to cool down when the heat is up

Stay Hydrated – We all know that drinking water is a vital key to staying healthy overall. But, in the summer, when you’re sweating more than average, you can lose 3 to 4 liters (12 to 17 cups) per hour or as much as 10 liters (2.6 GALLONS) per day! You must stay hydrated. If you’re thirsty, drink good ol’ H2O. Pass up the sugary drinks, and for the love of your health, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL WHEN YOU’RE OVERHEATED.

Stay Ahead of the Game – Schedule your errands early in the morning before the real heat sets in. Conversely, run your errands in the evenings. It’s also a good way to avoid boiling parking lots and other hot, tired customers. Let’s face it, it’s always a plus to not have to deal with hot, cranky people when you’re hot and cranky yourself.

Stay Indoors – If you don’t have to go out during the hottest part of the day, DON’T. Don’t take the kids to the pool or park when the heat is at its peak. Stay in and play a board game, watch a Christmas movie, read a book, or take a cool shower. To keep your house cool, draw the curtains, especially in sun-soaked rooms and use the oven as little as possible.

Check on the Elderly – If you have parents, grandparents, elderly neighbors or friends from church, check on them. Swing by their house to make certain their air conditioning is working and see if they could use a hand running errands. The very young and very old are the most likely to succumb to heat waves. Stop by for a glass of water! Not only does it keep a loved one safe, you might pick up some wisdom while you’re there!

No matter where you are, if you’re in the middle of summer, chances are YOU’RE HOT.

Do your best to stay cool and use common sense.

If you want to see how your state ranks in this heat wave, take a look here.