We want to help you avoid some of the dangers posed by the hot weather over the next few days. One of those dangers is your own car.

The minute you park and turn off your engine your vehicle can start acting like a greenhouse, trapping heat inside.

Related: Temps hit triple-digits for first time in 2017

5 On Your Side did an experiment to show you how quickly the temperatures can rise to dangerous levels. We parked a car in direct sun and placed a thermometer inside. The temperature inside started at 85 degrees and the temperature outside was 96. It only took about three and a half minutes for the thermometer to read 100 degrees. About three minutes later the mercury had risen to 105.

That kind of heat can be deadly for kids or pets left in a vehicle.

“It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s in the shade or the sun, it’s basically an oven. Adults don’t deal with that type of heat very well, children even less so,” said Dr. Dee Hodge, MD, of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“Even at 70 degrees, if you have your pet in the car for an hour on a 70-degree day it can be 110 degrees. It’s just so devastating and can happen so quickly,” said Dr. Kelly Ryan, DVM, director of veterinary services at Animal Medical Center of Mid-America.

Experts say the bottom line is simple: If you're driving with your kids or pets, never leave them in the car. Always take them with you.

St. Louis Children's Hospital's Safety Stop program offers free resources to help parents and even pet parents remember their little ones in the back seat. Anyone can call 314-454-KIDS to set up an appointment.

For more information, see the documents below.

Protect your child from overheating in the car

Sophie's Kiss