NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Only days before the official start of summer, MedStar is urging people use precaution after seven people were taken to the hospital Wednesday for heat related illness.

The agency also responded to a call for a child in a hot car. The child was treated on the scene and not transported to the hospital.

So far since May 1, a total of 80 patients with heat related illness have required treatment; 52 were serious enough to require hospitalization.

While heatstroke and heat exhaustion are common this time of year, they can be easily prevented. (courtesy: MedStar)

Here are some tips to stay safe during the summer heat.

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water during the day, especially if you are engaged in any strenuous activity. Sports drinks are a good choice if you’re exercising or working in hot conditions, but water is a good way to hydrate as well.
  • Ventilate: Stay in a place where there is plenty of air circulating to keep your body cool. If you are indoors and don’t have access to air conditioning, open windows and use a fan.
  • Cover Up: Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing to avoid absorbing the sun’s light and trapping heat.  Wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun, but once you feel yourself getting warm, remove any items covering your head which can trap heat close to your body.
  • Limit Activity: Heatstroke can occur in less than an hour when you are participating in strenuous activity during a hot day.  If you feel yourself getting hot or light-headed, stop your activity and rest in a cool place out of the sun.  Be sure to drink water or a sports drink before, during, and after any strenuous activity.
  • Check on Loved One’s: The elderly are especially vulnerable to heat related emergencies.  Many elderly residents are not aware of how hot it may get in their residence.  Call on older friends and family members regularly to assure they are doing OK.