Purple ribbons serve as child safety reminder

August 2, 2011 5:12:53 PM PDT
Purple ribbons adorning the antennas of California Highway Patrol cars this month are a reminder of the dangers of leaving a child unattended in a car, CHP officials said.

The decorations are designed to draw attention to "Purple Ribbon Month," which starts today. August was designated by the national non-profit organization 4 R Kids Sake to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car.

The campaign also serves to remember Kaitlyn, the daughter of 4 R Kids Sake co-founder Tammy Russell who died Aug. 15, 2000.

The 6-month-old girl was left alone in a car for about two hours in Riverside County by a babysitter, according to the CHP. Her body temperature had reached 107 degrees when she arrived at the hospital, where she died of hyperthermia, according to the non-profit organization.

Because of "Kaitlyn's Law," which was enacted by the state in 2001, anyone who leaves a child 6 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," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a statement. "It is not worth it to leave them in the car, even for a few moments."

Anyone who sees a child alone in a car is asked to immediately call 911.

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