Summer has come in like a blast furnace. And it’s safe to say hot weather will be around for a while.

While it seems like it shouldn’t need saying, inevitably it does. Do not leave anyone, particularly children or elderly people or pets in a closed-up car. Not for five minutes. Not in the shade. Not anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t take much for tragedy to result.

When it’s 70 degrees outside, it can be 120 degrees in a car; and when it’s 80 degrees, it can rise to 150 degrees or 160 degrees, essentially turning the car’s interior into an oven.

Children left in a parked car can suffer heat stroke and possibly die. Dogs pant to cool themselves. Left in a hot car they can overheat rapidly and die.

Tragically, some cases of children killed or injured by being left in a hot car are truly accidents. Parents have a lot on their minds and it is easier than one might think to forget a sleeping child in the back seat. One way to prevent this is to get in the habit of checking the back seat every time you arrive at your destination. It’s called “look before you lock.” One way to do this is to put a cell phone, handbag, briefcase, or employee badge in the back seat with the child to ensure you always open the back door when you get where you are going.

Remember, it doesn’t have to feel hot outside to be dangerously hot inside a parked car. If you see a child or pet in a locked car on a warm or hot day, don’t hesitate to call the police. You can call 203-834-6260 or simply, 911.