HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– PennDot and other state officials held a press conference Tuesday morning in Huntingdon to discuss heatstroke prevention and dangers for children and pets.

Heatstroke is an illness when the body can no longer control its temperature and cannot cool down. Signs of heat stroke include dry and hot skin, fever, frequent vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and other symptoms.

Children and pets are more prone to heat stroke and exhaustion because of their ability to develop higher temperatures quicker than adults. According to PennDot, 23 children died from pediatric heat stroke in 2021.

Officials urge citizens to make sure at the back of their vehicle before leaving their location. Public Information Officer in Hollidaysburg Christopher Fox said that if adults are caught leaving their child unattended, they could face a misdemeanor or summary charges.

“We want to protect children and animals, and it may seem it’s all that hot outside, but there’s a lot of times where it only takes around a 75, 80-degree day to where that sun beating on that vehicle is going to get way too hot, and you need to get that child and animal out.”

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PennDot said that if you see a child or pet in a hot vehicle, call 911 for medical attention.