New Legislation Introduced Today to Get Technology into Vehicles to Prevent Child Heatstroke Deaths. 29 children killed already this year in hot cars.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Media Conference Call – Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10:00 a.m. EST

Contact:

Advocates: Allison Kennedy, [email protected], (202) 408-1711;

KidsAndCars.org: Janette Fennell (415) 336-9279;

Rep. Ryan: Michael Zetts (202) 225-5261;

Rep. Schakowsky: Sam Avery (202) 225-2111

New Legislation Introduced Today to Get Technology into Vehicles to Prevent Child Heatstroke Deaths. 29 children killed already this year in hot cars.

It can happen anywhere to anyone at any time of the year.  After summer the risk for children being forgotten in cars still remains high because of new routines by parents and caregivers — Technology exists that can and should be put into cars to save children.  It is time to act.

WHAT:           MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

Today U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-13th OH), Peter King (R-2nd NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-9th IL) introduced the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act (HOT CARS Act of 2016). This bill is a major step to prevent needless deaths and injuries that occur when children are left in vehicles by requiring technology that alerts the driver a passenger remains in the rear seat. Cars already have numerous consumer reminder systems covering components such as headlights, keys, doors and seatbelts. Technology is capable of detecting unattended passengers and also reminding and alerting parents of a child left behind in a vehicle.

Already this year 29 children have tragically lost their lives in heatstroke incidents. On average, 37 children die from vehicular heatstroke each year. The majority of these cases happen when loving and responsible parents unknowingly leave their child behind in the car as the result of a change in routine, simple distractions, stress or fatigue. Nearly 30% of vehicular heatstroke deaths occur when children get into a vehicle on their own. Even as the weather begins to cool, children are still at risk for heatstroke. In fact, children have died from heatstroke in vehicles with temperatures as low as 52 degrees. Children being unintentionally and unknowingly left in vehicles can happen to any family, and the consequences are often deadly.

WHEN:           Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 10:00 am ET

HOW:             To join the Media Conference Call: 800-875-3456 Verbal Passcode: GILL54123

WHO:

U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-13th OH)

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-9th IL)

David Diamond, Ph. D, Professor of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology; Director, Neuroscience Collaborative Program and Center for Preclinical and Clinical Research on PTSD, University of South Florida. Author ofAn Epidemic of children dying in hot cars: a tragedy that can be prevented

Janette Fennell, President and Founder, KidsAndCars.org

Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety www.saferoads.org

Miles and Carol Harrison (Purcellville, VA), parents of Chase, who died on July 8, 2008 after being unknowingly left in a hot car

Lindsey and Kyle Seitz (Colorado Springs, CO), parents of Benjamin, who died on July 7, 2014 after being unknowingly left in a hot car

Eric and Michelle Stuyvesant (Garland, TX), parents of Michael, who survived after being unknowingly left in a hot car on June 10, 2015

Please click here for a list of 2016 vehicular heatstroke fatalities and here for a map of heatstroke fatalities by state.

Please click here for the Pulitzer Prize winning story Fatal Distraction by Gene Weingarten.

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