The summer heat can be dangerous to youngsters left alone in vehicles, and anyone who sees an unattended child should immediately call authorities, a Highway Patrol official said today.
“Vehicles heat up quickly, even with a window rolled down a couple of inches,” said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Even on a seemingly cool summer day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels within minutes.”
August is designated “Purple Ribbon Month” by the Corona-based nonprofit “4 R Kids Sake,” which asks motorists to fly purple ribbons on their cars’ in memory of children who have died after being left alone in vehicles.
All CHP units will be flying the ribbons from their antennas this month.
So far this year, 26 children in the United States have died from complications resulting from being left alone in vehicles, according to San Francisco University’s Department of Geosciences.
In April, a 7-month-old Antioch girl, Sofia Wisher, died from heatstroke after her parents left her in the back seat of their car all night. The couple, Cameron and Sara Wisher, told investigators they each mistakenly thought the other had brought the baby into the house.
Contra Costa County prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against the pair.
“It only takes a few minutes for tragedy to occur,” Farrow said. “If you see a child left unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately.”
State law prohibits leaving a child under 6 in a vehicle without the supervision of someone who is at least 12 years old.