A Raise Foundation Initiative

Raise For Kaitlyn

The Raise Foundation has crafted bilingual public awareness materials addressing Kaitlyn’s Law and distributes these in-person and digitally throughout the year.

About the Initiative

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 alone 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.

This law states that no parent or caregiver, for a child under the age of 6, shall leave that child unattended without the supervision of someone who is 12 years or older where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety or when the vehicle’s engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both. Kaitlyn’s Law is punishable by a minimum fine of $100 and does not preclude the potential for further prosecution, especially if there are concerns about the child’s health and wellbeing.

Temperatures in vehicles can rise to lethal levels in just a matter of minutes and young children are more susceptible to harm because of those increasing temperatures.

The Raise Foundation has crafted bilingual public awareness materials addressing Kaitlyn’s Law and distributes these in-person and digitally throughout the year. Kaitlyn’s Law is also a key component of the “Keep Kids Safe, Healthy and Happy” community presentations.

Unfortunately, cases of children being left unattended in motor vehicles was on the rise in 2020, likely due to COVID-19 restrictions on maximum occupancies. The Raise Foundation will continue to spread awareness of Kaitlyn’s Law in hopes of decreasing associated injury and fatalities.

For more information on Kaitlyn’s Law or “Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy and Happy” presentation, please contact info@theraisefoundation.org

Is it okay to leave a child in car if:
  • Parent/caregiver has visual contact with child? NO.
  • Car is on your driveway or street outside your house? NO.
  • It is only for a few minutes? NO.
  • It is not hot outside? NO.
What do I do if I see a child left unattended in a car?
  • Seconds count! Call 911 immediately.
  • Alert the parent/caregiver and a security guard if they are nearby.
  • Check the door. If it is unlocked open the door. If it is locked, talk to the child with a comforting tone and ask the child if they can unlock the door.
What are some tips to keep a child safe?
  • No matter how rushed you are, be sure to look in the back seat every time you leave your car.
  • Don’t overlook sleeping babies and backwards facing car seats. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. After putting your child in the seat, place the stuffed animal in front with you to remind yourself.
  • Place your purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the back seat.

Share these tips with everyone you know who cares for a child (parents, grandparents, babysitters, friends).

Initiative Partners

Orange County Fire Authority

Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Read "Kaitlyn's Law"