Events raise awareness about “Kaitlyn's Law”that makes it an offense for parents to leave children under the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle

The Department of Human Services, with support from First 5 Kern, Kern County Sheriff, and the California Highway Patrol, are once again launching “Purple Ribbon Month” in memory of Kaitlyn Marie Russell and the hopes that tragic deaths caused by leaving children in cars during hot weather can be prevented.

These events hope to raise public awareness about “Kaitlyn’s Law”, passed in 2001, that makes it a citable offense for parents to leave children under the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle without the supervision of someone at least 12 years of age. The law was named for 6 month old Kaitlyn Marie Russell, who died on August 15th, 2000, after being left behind in a hot van by a caregiver.

July is Purple Ribbon Month in memory of Kaitlyn and all the children who have lost their lives to preventable injuries in and around cars, and in order to educate and increase public awareness about all of the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around motor vehicles.

Already this year, at least 21 children have died due to hyperthermia nationwide, including two deaths in California this year.

Additional events are scheduled throughout the month of July and August. We encourage all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Kern County a better place for families. For more information, contact Heidi Carter-Escudero at (661) 633-7104 or carterh@kerndhs.com.