Babies and Hot Cars Don't Mix

A nonprofit group out to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving children unattended in hot cars has designated August as "Purple Ribbon Month."

The group, 4 R Kids Sake, is joining with Inland Empire fire and enforcement agencies to publicize Kaitlyn's Law, which took effect in 2002 after 6-month-old Kaitlyn Marie Russell died after being left unattended in a vehicle by her babysitter.

Kaitlyn died Aug. 15, 2000, in Lake Mathews after a babysitter left her in a hot car for more than two hours.

"Kaitlyn's death was absolutely, 100 percent preventable. It should never have happened," her mother, Tammy Russell, wrote on her website.

It is illegal to leave children younger than 6 alone in a car when the conditions present a potential health threat.

To draw attention to the hazard, purple ribbons will be worn on lapels and displayed on vehicle antennas, trees and mailboxes to remind people that it is never safe to leave children unattended in vehicles.

Anyone interested in getting a purple ribbon can contact the group via its webpage at

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