PHOENIX— Starting on June 1st the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is transitioning the “Don’t Leave Me Behind!” vehicular heatstroke awareness campaign to an all-digital format, targeting residents with messaging on their computers and mobile devices. The four-month campaign began in May with the goal of keeping the number of incidents of children and pets left in hot cars to zero.
“We have successfully gone 32 days without an incident here in Maricopa County, and we hope our new awareness messaging will keep these completely preventable tragedies from happening to both our children and pets,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
This digital component of the campaign is new for the Office and will help reach people in a different way as the campaign continues through the end of August. Also part of the 2017 campaign is an updated SafeKidsAZ webpage, SafeKidsAZ.org/vehicular-heatstroke, filled with information, tips and videos to help spread the message and educate our community. The site reminds residents that leaving a child or pet in a vehicle is potentially fatal and, in some circumstances, a criminal offense. At the top of the page visitors will also notice a counter showcasing how many days into the 123 day campaign goal the county has gone without a tragic incident.
Vehicular heatstroke is listed as the number one cause of deaths in non-collision fatalities for children 14 and younger, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Caretakers may not understand that vehicular heatstroke can occur when it’s less than 80 degrees outside. Interior temperatures can quickly rise to 125 degrees even with the windows slightly rolled down. Young children are especially at risk because they can fall asleep during a car ride making it easier for a driver to not notice them when the vehicle is parked.
You are encouraged to take part and help MCAO achieve its goal of zero incidents of children and pets left in hot cars this summer by using the hashtag #DontLeaveMeBehind and following us on Facebook and Twitter for more information and safety tips throughout the campaign.