Governor Snyder declares May 25 Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day
Parents and caregivers reminded about dangers of unattended children in vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2018

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – As long-awaited warmer weather arrives, parents and caregivers are reminded to be diligent and never leave children alone in vehicles. As of May 16, 2018, the lives of six children have already been claimed in the United States from heatstroke in a car. On average, there are 37 deaths a year in America due to these circumstances.

"We know from past experience that these fatalities can happen anytime, anywhere, including in moderate temperatures," said Nick Lyon, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We don’t want to see this kind of tragedy happen to any family. That’s why we are asking everyone to help protect kids from this very preventable danger by never leaving your child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute.” 

It doesn’t have to be the middle of the summer for a child to get overheated. Even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, the temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult, making them more susceptible to heatstroke. Temperatures inside a vehicle can easily be double the temperature outside.   

Too many children have lost their lives to this preventable, heartbreaking tragedy.  Together, we can cut down the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT.

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders by putting something in the back of your vehicle next to your child such as a wallet, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • Take action. If you see or hear a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations.

“As in previous years, we’re running awareness messages in our branches every day during the summer months to keep this kind of tragedy from happening,” Johnson said. “There’s no reason a child should ever be left alone in a car and that’s the message we’re committed to sharing.”

In addition, Michigan State Police Community Service Troopers and Safe Kids Coalitions across the state are working hard in their communities to increase awareness. 

For more information and safety tips on preventing child heatstroke deaths, please visit the Safe Kids or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration websites.

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