It's almost summer. That means fireworks, parades, cookouts, and of course – intense sweltering heat. During these brutally hot days it's important to remember proper hydration and keeping an eye out on those who may be most affected.

First, we all know the main reason to drink water, it keeps us alive, but besides that, there are other reasons to hydrate. Did you know without enough water, we won't sweat? At first, that kind of sounds like a good thing, but it's not. Without sweating, our bodies can't cool themselves down, and this can lead to overheating or heatstroke.

Water is also needed to remove toxins from our bodies and use the bathroom. One of the signs of dehydration is not using the bathroom frequently or having dark yellow urine. I know, gross, but that's a vital sign.

Staying hydrated will also keep us awake, alert, and less tired. When you have a headache or are feeling dizzy, you might need to sit down and have a nice tall glass of cold water.

Okay, you're nodding in agreement, great. Now, how much water should we drink a day? While there is no scientific study that applies to everyone, the consensus is six-eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day for the average person. All of this depends, of course, on your age, health, and activity level.

Now that we know the importance of drinking water and how much we should drink, who should we keep an eye on during these hot summer months? When it comes to dehydration, the first people who always come to mind are children and older individuals, but it's essential to make sure people involved in high-intensity physical activity, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and anyone sick should be getting plenty of water during the summer.

Following these simple steps will be a great way to kick off a healthy and happy summer!