PARENTS and dog owners are being warned to be on their guard against locking their children and pets inside the car during the first hot spell of the summer.

The AA issued the warning after it attended around 500 call-outs where either a pet or child had been locked in a car - an average of four a day.

The AA recommends using window blinds to help shield children and passengers from direct sun; and the use of sunglasses to reduce glare.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: As people head out to explore and enjoy their summer we’re reminding drivers to take care not to accidentally – or deliberately even for a moment - leave people or pets alone in the car. The shade doesn’t offer any protection either as the temperatures reached can be unbearable."