May 28, 2021: Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, since 1998, there have been at least 882 deaths of children in vehicles from heat stroke in the United States, and ten of these deaths occurred in the State of Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, heat stroke may happen when the body overheats, usually because of exposure to high temperatures; and,


WHEREAS, most heat stroke deaths in vehicles that occurred between 1998 and 2020 were among children age five and under, and 54 percent of these deaths occurred in children under the age of two; and,


WHEREAS, an estimated 567,914 Michigan residents, or nearly six percent of the population, are under the age of five; and,


WHEREAS, over 52 percent of these deaths nationally were instances where the child was forgotten by a caregiver; and,


WHEREAS, over 25 percent of these deaths were instances of children gaining access to an unattended vehicle; and,


WHEREAS, over 19 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, ranging from around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and upwards, and that the temperature in vehicles can become life-threatening very rapidly; and,


WHEREAS, children are less able to maintain a consistent internal body temperature as efficiently as an adult, and their body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adult's; and,


WHEREAS, 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 six unattended in a vehicle for a period of time that may risk harm or injury to the child; and,


WHEREAS, concerted efforts are being made in Michigan to increase public awareness of the dangers of leaving children 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, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 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 in-vehicle heat stroke-related deaths in children;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 28, 2021 as Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day in Michigan.