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

The warning comes from AA Breakdown, which attended around 500 call-outs last summer where either a pet or child had been locked in the car - an average of four a day.

Further concerns have been raised there are many new dog owners, after people in lockdown bought a dog for company, and that they do not appreciate the threat from the sun and heat.

The AA also recommends using window blinds to help shield children and passengers from direct sun.

A spokesman from the AA, said: "Children and pets are particularly vulnerable as they are less able to cope with high temperatures and heat-related illnesses such as dehydration.

"We're reminding drivers to take care not to leave people or pets alone in the car."