KANSAS PTA RESOLUTION - Children Unattended in Vehicles

Whereas,                    Kansas PTA is concerned about the health and safety of Kansas children and youth; and

Whereas,                    Each year many children are left unattended in and around motor vehicles; and

Whereas,                    There are risks with deadly consequences related to leaving children unattended in or around vehicles, including the danger of abduction, heat stroke, strangulation, trunk entrapment, being backed-over, and personal injuries to themselves or others by causing accidental and uncontrolled movement of the vehicle; and

Whereas,                    The unnecessary suffering and death of children is a national tragedy and a major public health concern, therefore be it

Resolved,                    That Kansas PTA will support appropriate legislation making it illegal to leave children under the age of 8 years unattended in vehicles, and be it further

Resolved,                    That Kansas PTA , it units and councils, will work to educate the public about the dangers related to having children unattended in and around vehicles, and be it further

Resolved,                    That Kansas PTA will work with our Collaborative Organizations to address additional issues of child safety in and around vehicles that may be discovered in the future.

 

Rational:

According to Kids and Cars, a Kansas-based national child safety organization, more than 723 children under the age of 15 have died in non-traffic, non-crash vehicle-related incidents since 2000.  At least 165 deaths occurred in 2004 alone.  Backovers and hyperthermia claimed the most lives, with other incidents such as power window strangulations and cars being set in motion by a child, contributing as well.  A February 2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that an estimated 7,475 children from ages 1-14 years old were treated in U.S. emergency departments between 2001 and 2003 for nonfatal backover related injuries.  A May 1997 Research Note published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of 499 total cases of injury caused by power windows between October 1993 and September 1994, 64% of victims were under the age of 14.  Kids and Cars also reports that 24% of non-traffic, non-crash fatalities result from children being left unattended in an overheated vehicle.  Since there is currently no formal collect of data by government agencies related these types of incidents, the information provided should be considered to be well below the actual number of incidents.

Adopted by the Kansas PTA Board of Managers 2/5/06