PHOENIX— There is only one month left in this year’s “Don’t Leave Me Behind” vehicular heatstroke awareness campaign, but the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is asking for renewed commitment in keeping the number of lives lost this year at ZERO.
“It was exactly this time last year in our campaign that we saw the tragic deaths of two young children in Maricopa County due to being left in a hot vehicle. We must not become complacent given that these types of deaths are 100% preventable,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Across the nation this year, there have been 29 reported incidents of children dying after being left inside unattended vehicles. So far this summer, Maricopa County has not had any reported cases of a child or pet dying because of vehicular heat stroke. Normally, this would indicate that the “Don’t Leave Me Behind” message is being heard, however just two weeks ago a 4-year-old boy was left in a parked car at Lake Pleasant. Luckily, a Good Samaritan heard the boy, checked the vehicle’s door and was able to free the child and wait with them until emergency responders arrived, all in line with the “Good Samaritan” law. This was a positive outcome and a great example of awareness in action.
More information on the “Don’t Leave Me Behind” vehicular heatstroke awareness campaign and the “Good Samaritan” law can be found at www.safekidsaz.org/vehicular-heatstroke. The website is filled with information, tips and videos to help people understand the dangers associated with leaving a child or pet unattended in a parked car. Leaving a child or pet in a vehicle is not only potentially fatal, in can result in a criminal charge.
A special thank you must be given to the Arizona Humane Society, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Penguin Air & Plumbing in partnering this year with the Maricopa County Attorney’s to promote this important safety message and help keep the number at ZERO.