BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Officials with the Kern County Department Of Human Services are urging people to wear a purple ribbon for heatstroke awareness.
Purple Ribbon Month honors Kaitlyn Russell, a child who died of heatstroke after being left inside an unattended car in 2000.
Officials say the ribbons act as a reminder that as the temperature rises, your responsibilities do, too.
Thursday, was National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Forty-four children died nationally in 2013 because they were left unattended in a hot vehicle, and 18 deaths have been reported in 2014.
The most recent case came out of Southern California, after a 3-year-old boy wondered into and became trapped in a car as he played outside.
On a hot Kern County day, a fun afternoon in the sun can turn deadly when the temperatures hit, and pass, triple digits.
Heidi Carter-Escudero with the Department Of Human Services wants families all across the state to take note of the dangers.
"Never, ever, leave a child in a car just for a minute, because the temperatures in side this are as bad as an oven," she said.
Marshall Johnson with the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County said when planning summer activities, club officials pay close attention to forecast.
"We always encourage kids, even if we are outside, five, 10 minute intervals, we come back outside, and if it is too hot for them, we break it down and bring it inside," said Johnson.
For parents, when it comes to kids in hot cars, experts say in just 20 minutes temperatures inside the vehicle can climb a deadly 30 degrees.
"(Children) heat up three to five times faster than an adult does. At 105 degrees, they are going into heatstroke, which is cardiac arrest. At 107, it's going to be fatal," said Carter-Escudero.
Friday, the Department of Human Services will kick the month off with a demonstration to show just how quickly cars can heat up, where parents and caregivers can also get child car seats inspected.
The demonstration starts at 10 a.m. at the Child Development Center, 1100 Ming Ave.