With temperatures cresting into the 90s on Tuesday, Aug. 9, a call about a 3-year-old child being left alone inside of a car could have ended tragically; luckily, the child ended up being OK.
The child was sleeping comfortably in the backseat of the unlocked car with the air conditioning running when police arrived at Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center on Jackson Street near Magnolia Avenue.
The child’s mother was arrested outside a medical office not long after on suspicion of felony child endangerment, said Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.
Though that child wasn’t hurt, many aren’t as fortunate.
Vehicular heatstroke deaths
Between 1998 and 2014, 636 children died from vehicular heatstroke, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Among those was 6-month-old Kaitlyn Marie Russell, of Corona, who died after her babysitter left her in a vehicle during a shopping trip.
• Previously: Kaitlyn’s mother speaks out — 15 years after he death
The incident spurred Purple Ribbon Month, during which law enforcement agencies and public safety organizations in August spread the message that leaving children in or near cars during the hot summer month can have deadly consequences. They set up displays, write messages on social media and decorate trees and city buildings with purple ribbons.
Riverside recently launched a video campaign on Facebook with the message “Never leave a child unattended in a car…not even for a minute!”
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