Recent weather forecasts sound like a broken record: humid, hot and hotter.

The week ahead calls for still more oppressive heat, with temperatures in Topeka and other parts of Kansas expected to eclipse the century mark. With humidity taken into account, heat-index values — what meteorologists call real feel — are on target to climb upward of 110 degrees.

All in all, look for more miserably steamy days ahead.

Of course, it’s never a surprise when sweltering heat strikes during summer months — but the hot, muggy weather already experienced this month with more on the way did deliver a stark reminder of the need to be prepared and exercise extra caution.

Law enforcement officers want people to always “Look Before You Lock” as a way to keep children from facing perilous conditions inside a hot vehicle. A temperature of 85 degrees can soar to 128 degrees within an hour in a car, where temperatures that climb to over 100 degrees can be deadly for a child left to suffer from what’s known as a vehicular heatstroke.

At the same time, people also should keep an eye on elderly and disabled friends and neighbors, and other folks without air conditioning or another means to stay cool.

Pets, too, are at serious risk in the heat. They should be kept indoors whenever it's extremely hot. When that's not possible, they need plenty of fresh, clean water and shady places to cool off. Never leave a dog or cat inside a parked vehicle in the heat, even for a few moments.

With more hot and muggy days ahead, everyone should use caution when going outside — whether it's to work or participate in other outdoor activities that may not seem strenuous but can be a threat in extreme heat.

Hot weather can attack anyone. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other medical problems may occur with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity when temperatures soar. The National Weather Service reminds people to drink plenty of water; wear lightweight, light-colored clothing; take plenty of breaks during outdoor activity; and avoid prolonged exposure between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on hot days.

Think ahead before going outdoors. Find ways to stay cool and always keep an eye on those most vulnerable.

Some extra kindness and attention could be a lifesaver.