May 25, 2018: Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, since 1998, there were at least 742 deaths of children in vehicles from heatstroke in the United States, 10 of these deaths occurred in the State of Michigan. Heatstroke may happen when the body overheats, usually because of prolonged exposure to high temperatures; and,

WHEREAS, nearly all heat stroke deaths in vehicles were among children age 5 and under between 1998 and 2017, and 55 percent of these deaths occurred for children under the age of 2; and,

WHEREAS, 54 percent of these deaths were instances where the child was “forgotten” by a caregiver and 28 percent of these deaths were instances of children gaining access to an unattended vehicle. 17 percent of these deaths occurred when the child was intentionally left in a vehicle by an adult; and,

WHEREAS, studies show that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild temperatures (i.e., 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and that the temperature in vehicles can become life-threatening very rapidly; and,

WHEREAS, the bodily system in children that maintains a consistent internal body temperature is not as efficient as an adult’s, and their body temperatures warm at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s; and,

WHEREAS, all these deaths are 100 percent preventable; and,

WHEREAS, Section 750.135a of Act 328 of 1931 Michigan Penal Code prohibits a person who is responsible for the care or welfare of a child from leaving a child under the age of 6 unattended in a vehicle for a period of time which may risk harm or injury to the child; and,

WHEREAS, concerted efforts are being made in Michigan to increase public awareness on the dangers of children left in vehicles through community and health care-based programs and partners, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of State, Michigan State Police, and the community-based Safe Kids Coalitions in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Injury and Violence Prevention Program will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of vehicle-related heat stroke related deaths in children;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 25, 2018 as Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.