JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

Summer heat has settled in this week, marking the beginning of emergency rooms and doctors seeing people suffering from heat-related illnesses.

Fortunately, it's something that is easy to prevent by following a few steps before going outside or hopping into the pool.

If you go outside, it's important to remember three simple things. Water, shade, and sunscreen. All of which prevent a possibly unwanted hospital visit.

For some, summer means getting outside and getting a tan, and for others it's all about enjoying family time at the pool.

Kendra Kuttenkler brought her niece to the pool, but she also brought the essentials; a large jug of water and sunscreen.

"At a young age, it teaches them to make sure and take every precaution they can," said Kuttenkler.

Taking extra precautions is what St, Mary's orthopedic doctor Janet Elliot said is extremely important when temperatures reach near triple digits. 

"You can get anything from a mild headache with some heat exhaustion to full blown dead with heat stroke," said Elliot.

Heat-related illnesses include hyperthermia where your body overheats, heat stroke, heat cramps, heat rash, and heat exhaustion all from over-exposure to the sun.

"So with the dehydration you're going to see muscle cramping, confusion, and you're going to see difficulty in completing thoughts or making decisions," said Elliot.

To prevent heat illness, Dr. Elliot said to remember to also try to stay in shaded areas. Children and seniors need to be extra careful as they can't often tell when they're getting overheated.