This is our annual reminder about hot car deaths – don't leave your children or your pets behind when you step away from your vehicle for any reason this summer.

The National Safety Council reports that an average of 38 children under age 15 who are left behind in a hot car die of heat stroke annually. Seven children left in vehicles have died so far this year of heat stroke.

We're also including a note here about cats, dogs, and other animals – including police K-9s. Cracking the windows, parking in the shade or leaving the car on and the air conditioner running on a hot day may not prevent an animal from becoming overheated. The air conditioner or car could shut off while you are away, and cracking the windows won't cool the car sufficiently.

Here's something to remember from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal: On an 85-degree day, the temperature can rise to 102 in 10 minutes in a vehicle, and to 120 degrees in a half hour.

Keep your loved ones cool and safe this summer.