Your Health Matters


As heat wave continues, a warning about leaving kids in hot cars

Posted at 12:26 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 15:26:18-04

(KERO) — On this 1st day of August as the string of 100-degree days in the Central Valley gets longer a reminder about kids left in cars.

July is known as Purple Ribbon Month in honor of Kaitlyn's Law making it a citable offense to leave young children unattended in a vehicle.

Six-month-old Kaitlyn Marie Russell died on August 15th of 2000 after she was left behind in a hot van by a caregiver.

Kern County Health and Human Services wants to remind you about the importance of increasing awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around motor vehicles at any time of the year.

“We do this to remind people to never leave a child alone in a vehicle. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach up to 20 degrees hotter than the outside and a child’s body at 107 degrees which is hypothermia and they can die from that,” explained Jana Slagle with the Kern County Department of Health and Human Services.

Slagle says a child’s body overheats 3-to-5 times faster than an adult body.

Why do kids get left behind??

Experts say it could be a new change in daily routine, lack of sleep or simple distractions.

Officials say on average 37 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being left inside motor vehicles. During the summer that's nearly two children per week.

Kern Health and Human Serivces reminds parents to always "look before you lock," especially during a heat wave.