The call comes after a one-year-old boy was treated for heatstroke and dehydration after being left in a locked car at a retail park.
Detective Chief Inspector Amanda Davies of Staffordshire Police’s public protection investigation team, says had it not been for an alert member of the public raising the alarm the incident “could have easily resulted in a child dying”.
She says as the outside temperature soared to 25C (77F), the conditions inside the car – which had its windows slightly wound down – would have been “stifling”.
Anyone concerned about a child left in car, adds DCI Davies, should call 999.
Police officers went to the Wolstanton Retail Park at Newcastle-under-Lyme after a member of the public saw the boy inside the car and alerted the emergency services.
Officers, who had to force their way into the vehicle, say the boy was visibly distressed, having been left for about half an hour.
After being freed from the car he was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Staffordshire Police say they have now given the boy’s parents – a man aged 28 and a woman of 24 from Stoke-on-Trent – conditional police cautions for causing harm to a child after consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service.
A statement issued by the force says the conditions include requirements for them to fully engage and cooperate with family services, agree to not commit a further offence and to pay a fine.
The pair had been arrested on suspicion of child neglect when they returned to the car.
Members of the public concerned about a child they see left in a car are asked to call police on 999.
Anyone worried about an animal left in a vehicle, meanwhile, should contact the RSPCA, the police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.