Boy, it's hot out there. Once humidity is factored in, the heat feels like it is more than 100 degrees outside the past week or so.

And it is only set to get hotter. By this weekend, the mercury could almost reach triple digits, with Saturday's forecast set to top out at 98 degrees.

But it doesn't have to be absurdly hot for summertime weather to have an effect on your health.

Heat results in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more cases of heat-related illnesses, according to the National Weather Service. Children, the elderly and pets are the most at risk.

Especially dangerous this time of year are vehicles when children or pets are left unattended. The inside of a car can heat up to almost 200 degrees on a summer day. Research shows that about 37 children die each year as a result of being left in unattended vehicles. Never leave a child, elderly individual or animal in an unattended vehicle, even for a minute or two. And if you spot a child or pet in an unattended vehicle on a hot day, or even a mild day, call 911.

It's not just in vehicles you have to worry about the heat. As the summer continues, more people will be spending time outside, whether enjoying time at the pool or doing chores in the yard, such as mowing the grass. It's important to take plenty of breaks indoors when you can and to remain hydrated, which means drinking water rather than sugary caffeinated beverages or alcohol.

Please don't forget to check on elderly neighbors and family members who are most susceptible to heat-related illness and deaths, especially those who live alone.

-- The Kentucky Standard