With temperatures hovering in the 80s and 90s, summer has arrived.

As the heat level rises, so does the possibility for heatstroke related injuries — especially for children and pets.

A few minutes alone in an automobile in the heat can be deadly.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to leave a child or pet in a vehicle while running into the store or a gas station. The problem is that vehicle temperatures can turn lethal in almost no time at all on a sunny day.

While temperatures outside may be in the 80s or 90s, inside a car they can easily exceed 120 degrees. Even when temperatures are in the 60s, on a sunny day they can still exceed 100 degrees inside a vehicle.

This kind of heat can damage a child’s organs within a few minutes, and can be fatal in some cases. 

Safety experts recommend always checking the back seats of a vehicle before locking it and walking away. Keeping a stuffed animal of a child’s in the front seat can be a good visual cue to remind parents to check and make sure their child is not in the car.

The same is true for pets, which are often left inside vehicles, as they are not allowed in most stores.

Heat can also be dangerous for people who are outside as well. It’s important to stay hydrated, and especially to make sure children are drinking enough water. Parents should also encourage their children to take periodic breaks from being out in the sun to prevent heatstroke.

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