The State Senate this week adopted a resolution sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (R-9) declaring the week of June 20 through June 26 as “Heat Stroke Prevention Week” in Pennsylvania.
The resolution is intended to raise awareness about child vehicular heat stroke deaths, which are the leading cause of non-crash vehicular deaths in children under the age of 14.
In 2016, there have already been 16 vehicular heat stroke deaths in children in the U.S., a number that can be expected to rise in the heat of the summer months unless there is increased awareness.
Last year at this time, there were 5 deaths compared to the 16 reported thus far this year. This is a 300% increase in vehicular heat stroke deaths in children.
Organizations, such as Safe Kids Pennsylvania, support Senator Killion’s initiative to raise awareness about heat stroke related deaths.
Safe Kids Pennsylvania stresses the importance of not leaving a child alone in a car for any period of time. Putting important items, such as a purse or briefcase, next to your child while driving can be a helpful reminder to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately.
Even the most careful parents are capable of forgetting a quiet child. Other risk factors for heat stroke deaths include children playing in unattended vehicles and caregivers who are not accustomed to driving with children.
“A brief moment of distraction or a change in routine can turn tragic if a child is left in a hot car. Even on a day when the temperature is only 75 degrees, a vehicle can heat up so quickly an infant could die in just 15 minutes. Checking the back seat before leaving your vehicle can help prevent this tragedy,” Rachel Bryson, of the American Trauma Society, said. “The American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division is pleased to support June 20 through 26 as “Heat Stroke Prevention Week” in Pennsylvania, and we encourage all parents and caregivers to always look in the back before locking their vehicle.”
CONTACT: Michael Stoll (717) 787- 4712