Did you know that it is illegal to leave a child under the age of six alone in a vehicle? State law mandates that any child left in a vehicle must have supervision from a person who is 12 years of age or older. Unfortunately, millions of children are left unsupervised in or around vehicles each year, and the results are often tragic.
What is Kaitlyn’s Law? In the fall of 2001 the Governor of California signed into law Senate Bill 255, also known as Kaitlyn’s Law. Named for Kaitlyn Russell, a six-month old who died after being left by a babysitter in a parked car for more than two hours, the law makes it illegal for a child to be left unattended in a motor vehicle. California Vehicle Code 15620 states a parent, legal guardian or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:
- Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety.
- When the vehicle’s engine is running or the vehicle’s keys are in the ignition, or both.
Dangers to Children Left Unattended in Cars Include:
- Heat Stroke
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Body Parts Crushed by Power Windows and Sunroofs
- Trunk Entrapment
- Abduction or Carjacking
- Runaway Vehicles
- Car Crashes