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Incorrectly Installed Car Seats Run the Risk of Injury or Death

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Did you know that at least one study shows 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly? In Northern Nevada, local EMS workers want to help ensure that all young children traveling in vehicles do so safely—that’s why the organization known as REMSA (Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority) is expanding their monthly car seat safety program in September. Known as Point of Impact, REMSA’s monthly program travels across Nevada, offering free car seat inspections and assistance with proper installation to make sure children traveling our highways do so safely.

“There are hundreds of models of car seats and hundreds of models of cars… and making those things fit together is not always an easy task,“ says Vickie Fisher, coordinator of REMSA’s Point of Impact program. It is for this very reason that REMSA urges community members to stop by one of it’s free checkpoints—a service they have been offering since 1998—so that trained technicians can check car seats for correct installation, and visible defects and they will even check the model on a national product recall list. In addition to their first-come, first-serve checkpoint. Area residents can also schedule an appointment by visiting REMSA’s website.

Experts agree that the best way to keep your child safe while riding in the car is to ensure that he or she is always in a car seat and that the car seat is used correctly. Here are some tips to do exactly that:

  1. Buy the right car seat — remember that infants and toddlers need to ride in a rear-facing seat and that your child will frequently need an “upgrade” as he or she continues to grow.
  2. Install the seat correctly — You can use either your car’s seat belt or the built-in car seat anchors, but never try to use both at the same time.
  3. Be aware of your current car seat’s specs — Each car seat should have a label stating the weight, height and age limit for the seat and it’s important that you stay within all specifications.

Also note that many people overlook or fail to properly install their car seat’s tether; according to www.safekids.org, 64 percent of parents don’t use them. The top tether of your child’s car seat is there to keep the seat from tipping forward in an accident and allowing your child’s head to strike the back of a front seat—preventing a potential brain injury.

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