ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — As the summer temperatures reach southwest Virginia, first responders are finding themselves handling more situations involving heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

According to fire officials, it’s especially important for parents to watch out for small babies and children who might not be able to speak up about being overheated.

The community outreach coordinator for Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, Brian Clingenpeel, says a young child’s body temperature increases more quickly than an adult’s. Therefore, parents should make sure their children get lots of water and are being kept in cool places.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

According to Clingenpeel, even if you plan to head into a store for just a few minutes, you should never leave a child alone in a parked car.

Not only can this cause damage to brains and other organs, but experts say that deaths have occurred even when temperatures were as low as 70 degrees.

“A car’s temperature rises quickly and also that child’s body temperature rises much more quickly than an adult does, so that can be a very dangerous situation,” explained Clingenpeel.

If you notice a child left alone in a vehicle, Clingenpeel says this is considered an emergency situation, so if you can’t get the child out of the car on your own, you should call the police immediately.