NORWALK - Fire officials and lawmakers warned residents Friday about leaving children in their cars as the weather warms up.

They say children are at risk of heat stroke and death when they are left in hot cars.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says parents need to be more responsible in certain situations.

According to officials, it can take just a few minutes for a car to heat up to as high as 140 degrees -- which could prove lethal to small children.

Blumenthal is promoting a "Look Before You Lock" campaign to raise awareness.

The Weston Fire Department's Mark Blake says young children are affected by the heat sometimes five times more than an adult would be because of their size. 

Blake, who also works with Connecticut Safe Kids, says seven children have died across the country so far this year because they were left in hot cars. On average, 38 children die of heat-related injuries throughout the year, according to another advocacy group, Kids and Cars.

Two years ago, 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz from Ridgefield died after he was left in those conditions.

Blake says parents and other caregivers need to be aware of the danger.

Officials also say manufacturers are now making car seats that alert people when their children are left in the back seat. They also encourage parents to place other important items in the back to remind them to check, like cellphones and briefcases.