HGH EMS Rescue Will Host Safe Kids Checkpoint This Saturday

If you care deeply about your children and want to make sure they are safe on every ride, please stop by the Ridley’s Market parking lot this weekend.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, September 16, technicians from HGH EMS Rescue will host a Safe Kids Checkpoint.

According to Lieutenant Debbie Whittaker, the group will include two technicians from the hospital’s "KISS" (Kids in Safety Seats) Child Passenger Safety program as well as five technicians who have spent the week participating in over 30 hours of training to become nationally certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians.

Saturday, the group’s mission will be to ensure seats are safe and appropriate for each child’s age, height and weight; technicians will also re-install existing car seats or install new ones based upon each family’s needs. A limited number of new car seats will be available based on a sliding fee scale.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for Nevadans between the ages of 5 and 34 years. Motor vehicle occupant injuries are among the top five causes of both death and hospitalization among children under age 16.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that correctly used child restraints are even more effective than seat belts at reducing fatalities. Child restraints reduce fatalities by 71 percent for infants younger than 12 months old; for children between the ages of 1 and 4, child restraints reduce fatalities by 54 percent.

Still, Whittaker said research shows 73 percent of child restraints are installed incorrectly and would reasonably result in serious injury or death to a child.

With approximately 1,300 children under the age of 5 in Humboldt County, and an average installation of 70 child passenger safety seats per year, “there remains a critical void,” said Whittaker.

“HGH EMS Rescue is committed to ensuring every child is properly restrained while in a motor vehicle,” added Whittaker. “Our goal is very simple: prevent disability and death among the youngest members of our communities.”

Saturday’s Safe Kids Checkpoint is free of charge; no appointment is necessary. Families will be served on a first come, first served basis.

Additionally, HGH EMS Rescue’s Child Passenger Safety Program conducts car seat installs and education at the ambulance station located adjacent to Humboldt General Hospital. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.