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PHOENIX -- With temperatures approaching 110 degrees in the Valley of the Sun, it's a good time to remind people not leave children and pets inside a car.

"Seven, four, 16," said Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Chris Ketterer. "Already in the United States (this year), we've lost seven children in four states over a period of 16 days."

Ketterer said none of those deaths have happened in the Phoenix area, but there has been a close call.

Last month, a Phoenix mother found her child still in the car, hours after the family had returned home from church. Fortunately, the child survived.

The fire department demonstrated just how quickly the interior of a car heats up with a large thermometer. It read 100 degrees as it sat outside of a convenience store at Third Avenue and Indian School Road.

The thermometer was placed inside a parked car. Within 10 minutes the temperature reached over 140 degrees. That could lead to serious injuries or even death for kids or pets left in a car.

Fire Captain Larry Nunez is encouraging parents to use a teddy bear inside the car as a reminder to get their kids out. Leave it in the child's car seat. When the child goes into the car seat, move the teddy bear to the front seat.

"That way, you have something immediately right there by your hands to remind yourself in the back," Nunez said.

Signs reminding people not to leave kids in the car "even for a few minutes," are being posted at the entrances at QuikTrip stores in metro Phoenix.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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