May 26, 2017: Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, between 2013 and 2016, there were at least one hundred and thirty-eight deaths of children in vehicles from heatstroke.  Heatstroke may happen when the body overheats, usually as a result of overlong exposure to high temperatures. Nationwide, four of these deaths occurred in the state of Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, nearly all these heat stroke deaths in vehicles were among children ages 5 and under, 37 percent of these deaths occurred for children age 1 year old or under.

WHEREAS, since 1998, at least 704 cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles in the United States have been documented.  Of these instances, 54 percent were where the child was “forgotten” by a caregiver, 28 percent of these deaths were instances of children playing in 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; 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;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 26, 2017 as Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.