The Senate adopted a resolution sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (R-9) declaring Tuesday, July 31, 2018 as “Heatstroke Prevention Day” in Pennsylvania.
Senate Resolution 410 is intended to raise awareness about child vehicular heatstroke deaths, which are the leading cause of non-crash vehicular deaths in children aged 14 and under.
Already this year, there have been 29 confirmed child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States. Unfortunately, this puts us on track to be one of the worst years for child hot car deaths in U.S. history.
Every year on average, 37 children die in hot cars in our country. July is the deadliest month of the year for these tragedies. Last year, 43 children died.
These tragedies are predictable and preventable. Organizations, such as KidsAndCars.org, support Senator Killion’s initiative to raise awareness about heatstroke related deaths and is urging parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant during any changes in the daily routine. This is when the most tragedies occur.
KidsAndCars.org president and founder, Janette Fennell said, “It is devastating to know that there are families all across America right now holding their precious babies, unaware that they will lose them in a hot car this summer. But these children don’t have to die. Parents and caregivers have the power to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them.”
Safe Kids Pennsylvania stresses the importance of not leaving a child alone in a car for any period of time. Placing frequently used 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 losing awareness of a child in the back seat. Other risk factors for heatstroke 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,” Danielle Adams of the American Trauma Society, said. The American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter, are also supportive of July 31 as “Heatstroke Prevention Day”, and encourage all parents and caregivers to always look before you lock your vehicle.
Contact: Krista Hair 717-787-4712