TULSA, Oklahoma - It's not summer yet, but the heat is already taking a toll on people.

Last year, EMSA treated hundreds of people for heat-related illnesses and more than a dozen Oklahomans died.

But things didn't start heating up until June.

It's only a few days into May, and EMSA says paramedics have already treated three men for heat-related illnesses.

All three were taken to the hospital and listen in fair condition.

Heat-related deaths can be prevented. You should keep the following tips in mind when working, exercising or having fun in the Oklahoma summer sun:

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting alcoholic and sugary beverages. Alcohol and sugar can cause you to lose more body fluid.

• Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the peak sun hours, which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

• Wear sunscreen.

• NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. Temperatures in a vehicle rise rapidly on sunny days.

• Monitor those at high risk especially the young, elderly, physically ill and your pets.

• Stay cool by staying indoors. If your home does not have air conditioning go to the shopping mall or public library.