The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and the Department of Health and Human Services are working to raise awareness about the dangers of heat stroke and offering ways to prevent those tragedies. There have been 794 children deaths from heatstroke in vehicles nation wide since 1998, including 10 from Michigan. 2018 saw a 19 percent increase of heatstroke deaths among children under 14 from the previous year. Kids die alone in a vehicle for several reasons: 54 percent were forgotten by a caregiver, 26 percent gained access to unattended vehicles and became trapped and 18 percent were left intentionally by an adult.
Officials say the deaths are 100 percent preventable. Never leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes. Always lock the doors and the trunk and keep key fobs out of reach. Create reminders to yourself that a child is in the vehicle by placing necessary items next to a car or booster seat. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 9-1-1. For more information, visit safe kids dot org.