You break a sweat the minute you step outside. A seat belt makes a decent branding iron. And the best parking spot is determined by shade - not distance.

Across the city, kids yesterday drenched themselves under the cool spray of sprinklers and hoses to escape the sun. The Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Square became Philadelphia's impromptu swimming hole.

The bad news is that Philly's early-June heat blast is slated to continue one more day, with the mercury making one final run at triple digits this afternoon. An excessive-heat warning remains in effect until 8 tonight.

"It hits you like a freight train," said Nathan Currie, 32, of Detroit.

Currie, in Philadelphia this week on vacation, was one of the swimmers at the Logan Square fountain. Many others joined him, including 10-year-old Alaya Freeman, who was there with her family.

"We're just out here to have a good time," said Freeman, a fourth-grader at Gesu School, which dismissed classes at 11:30 a.m. yesterday.

She wasn't deterred by park rangers informing children and parents of the dangers of swimming in the fountain.

"You see homeless people out here and they come in here to wash up," said one ranger, who didn't want to give his name. "The water doesn't have enough chlorine to kill germs."

Inside, schools are doing what they can to keep students safe from the excessive heat.

Fernando Gallard, director of communications for the Philadelphia School District, said its 281 schools will close after lunch again today.

All after-school activities and school sports are canceled again. Gallard said he was unaware of any heat-related incidents at schools yesterday.

Gallard said only one-third of buildings have air conditioning, but fans were put in all schools.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese said Catholic elementary schools also plan to close at noon today, as they did yesterday.

Since Saturday, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has offered a help line for anyone looking for advice on staying cool. Chris Gallagher, director of the service, said that PCA will have 23 people on staff, including two nurses, during business hours. Nurses can send a mobile team to someone's home if needed.

Gallagher said the hot line will be open from 8:30 a.m. to midnight.

The number is 215-765-9040.

The National Weather Service says there is a chance of thunderstorms after 2 p.m today. The day should be mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 99. *