HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hot weather and humidity has left Western Massachusetts sizzling the past few days, and as those degrees go up so do the dangers.

22news spoke with Captain David Rex of Holyoke Fire Department on Sunday. He said, “Today is not a day to be leaving anyone in the car even if it’s running.”

That’s because hot cars can lead to heatstroke and even death, especially among kids and pets.
One woman visiting the area told 22news that people often overlook the threat of high temperatures.

“Imagine like a little person, you know how much more delicate they are. I don’t think people realize how even the heat can lead you to end up in the hospital,” said Michelle Francis from Manhattan.

It doesn’t take very long for the inside of your car to get dangerously hot. Temperatures can rise well over 100 degrees inside a car in just 7 to 8 minutes, which is life-threatening for children and pets.

So far this year, five children have died in hot cars in the United States. Captain Rex says that if you see a child or pet left unattended in a hot car, you should take action by calling 911.

He also emphasized the importance of taking that second look before leaving your car unattended. “I’m a parent myself, and a pet-owner myself, yeah it happens. You’re doing nine million things and then you’re getting out of the car and you look back and there he is. So make sure you do that physical check of hey the car’s empty, everything’s out of the car.”