May 22, 2015: Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, in 2013 and 2014, there were at least seventy-four deaths of children in vehicles from heatstroke, and nationwide, four of these deaths occurred in Michigan in this time period; and,

WHEREAS, while 39 percent of these deaths have occurred nationally for children under the age of one in 2013 and 2014, 99 percent of heat stroke deaths in vehicles were among children age 9 and under; and,

WHEREAS, since 1998 there have been at least 635 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles in the United States; and,

WHEREAS, 52 percent of these deaths were instances where the child was “forgotten” by a caregiver, 29 percent of these deaths were instances of children playing in an unattended vehicle, 18 percent of these deaths occurred when the child was intentionally left in a vehicle by an adult, but most importantly, all these deaths are 100 percent preventable; and,

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

WHEREAS, children’s thermoregulatory systems are not as efficient as an adults, and their body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adults; and,

WHEREAS, in Michigan, a person who is responsible for the care or welfare of a child is prohibited 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 about the dangers of children left in vehicles through community and health care based programs, including the collection of data to monitor incidents of heat stroke related deaths in children by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Injury and Violence Prevention Section; and,

WHEREAS, on this day, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of State’s Office, Michigan State Police, and community-based Safe Kids Coalitions to call upon our citizens and interested groups to observe the day with appropriate activities that promote awareness of heat stroke prevention especially as it relates to motor vehicles;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2015 as Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.