CHP warns not to leave children, pets in hot vehicles

The hot summer sun can turn an automobile into a deadly oven-on-wheels for young ones, pets and adults alike. The California Highway Patrol is warning the public about the dangers of leaving children, loved ones or pets unattended inside a vehicle while parked in the hot summer sun.

“It takes mere minutes for the temperature inside of a vehicle to become deadly, even in the shade,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Never leave children, pets or anyone unable to care for themselves in the car, even with the windows rolled down.”

Leaving an unattended child in a car is illegal, so if you see one, call 911 immediately. It can mean a matter of life or death.

The national non-profit organization 4 R Kids Sake has designated August as Purple Ribbon Month to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. In recognition of Purple Ribbon Month, CHP officers will attach a purple ribbon to the antenna of their patrol cars as a reminder to not leave children in the vehicle. This action is part of a campaign to remember 6-month-old Kaitlyn Russell, who died Aug. 15, 2000 when she was left alone in her babysitter’s car for about two hours.

Kaitlyn’s Law states anyone who leaves a child six years or younger inside a vehicle without the supervision of someone at least 12 years old can be fined $100.

“It takes very little effort to take a child or loved one with you,” said Farrow. “It is not worth it to leave them in a car, even for a few moments.”

-- Sun-Star staff