May 23, 2014: Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day

WHEREAS, in 2013, there were at least 43 deaths of children in vehicles from heatstroke nationwide, three of these deaths occurred in the State of Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, while 42 percent of these deaths have occurred nationally for children age 1 or younger in 2013, 98 percent of heat stroke deaths in vehicles were among children age 9 and under; and,

WHEREAS, since 1998 there have been at least 605 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, and 18 percent of these deaths occurred when the child was intentionally left in a vehicle by an adult, but 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 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Community Health Injury and Violence Prevention Section will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of heat stroke related deaths in children; and,

WHEREAS, concerted efforts are being made in Michigan and nationally to increase public awareness about the dangers of children left in vehicles through community and health care based programs and partners, including the Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan State Police, and community-based Safe Kids Coalitions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service which has identified May 23, 2014 as Heat Awareness Day;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby declare May 23, 2014 as Michigan Heat Stroke Prevention Awareness Day.