DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Meteorological summer begins today, and we are already feeling that summer heat. Along with the heat comes dangers that can be prevented with the right protection.

Summer heat visited the Miami Valley for a short time Tuesday, with ample sunshine and an increased UV index. Sunscreen is the number one way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, not only right now, but in the future.

Dr. Joseph Allen, regional medical director with Premier Health, said, “That repetitive damage over time is what really causes problems later on with things like melanoma which is a real big scary one. But, there are all kinds of other basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma that are skin cancers that can cause issues, plus just the wear and tear on the skin.”

Staying hydrated is another way to prevent things such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but Allen said not just any drink will keep you hydrated.

“It gets warm out, it’s just past Memorial Day weekend, many of the schools are out so kids are out and about and they get outside and they just forget to hydrate or they’re hydrating with the wrong things. When you’re drinking soda, that’s not really going to help you much. You want to drink water, or at least something that is close to water that you can tolerate and put down.”

Having a way to cool yourself down will help you avoid heat exhaustion and a possible heat stroke.

Dr. Nancy Pook, emergency physician at Kettering Health said, “Dipping in and out of a pool to having a spray unit that has some water attached. You can go in and out of the air conditioning and stay cool that way, and certainly staying in the shade is going to be important for both skin protection and the heat in general.”

Dr. Allen said that some common signs of heatstroke are not sweating but feeling hot, fatigue and a feeling of confusion. In those cases you should seek medical attention.