NEW YORK (PIX11) — With hot weather on the way, there are plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun. But the sun and heat can also be dangerous, especially for children, New York officials warned on Friday.

After a long winter and chilly start to spring, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services issued some reminders about heat safety.

“These cases are so heartbreaking because often times they are entirely preventable,” Mark Schroeder, DMV commissioner and GTSC chair, said of heat-related deaths that occur every year. “Parents are busy and many of you are juggling more than ever and dealing with more distractions than ever, so setting up a routine to remind yourself to always check the back seat for your children is critically important.”

New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett added that “children, pets and hot cars are a deadly combination.” Temperatures in cars rise quickly, she said, and both children and pets can die from heatstroke in minutes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23 children died last year after being left in hot cars. There have been 906 deaths from the same cause recorded since 1998.

Officials said a child’s body temperature rises up to five times faster than an adult’s, making it especially important to make sure they are comfortable and safe.