HGH EMS Rescue Helps Connect Local Preschool with Safer Seats

Zion Lutheran Preschool got an early Christmas present this year.

The Humboldt General Hospital EMS Rescue KISS (“Kids in Safety Seats”) program helped facilitate the installation of eight new high-back booster seats in the preschool’s transport van; another two are on their way from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.

“We are so grateful to the Office of Traffic Safety for sharing these seats with one of our community members in need,” said KISS Lead Technician Gricelda Soto, “and we are so grateful that we have the skills and know-how to do our part locally.”

According to Zion Lutheran Preschool Director Elizabeth Dyches, a recent state inspection revealed the school’s booster seats needed an update for optimum safety.

Soto said older car seats and booster seats expire after six years; some newer models expire after 10 years.

“It’s very common to not realize that seats expire,” said Soto, “so we were happy to update the models for Zion Lutheran to provide a higher level of safety.”

Soto said the belt-positioning booster seats are the next logical step for children ages 4-8 who have outgrown a harness car seat. By ages 8-12, children are usually large enough to use a seat belt in the back seat.

Soto worked with certified technicians Freddie Ziemer and Amy Lake to complete the install. On behalf of the entire preschool, Dyches expressed how appreciative she was of the service.

According to Soto, Humboldt General Hospital has made a sizeable investment in the agency’s Child Passenger Safety program. Multiple crew members are now certified through Safe Kids Worldwide to inspect and install child protective seats at fixed locations such as the local EMS station.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that correctly used child restraints are even more effective than seat belts at reducing fatalities. Still, research shows 73 percent of child restraints are installed incorrectly and would reasonably result in serious injury or death to a child.

Soto said she and her crew members are available by appointment to install new car seats as well as conduct safety checks on currently installed seats. All seats are checked for compatibility with participants’ car models to ensure children are in appropriately sized seats for their height and weight.

“As a group, we are committed to ensuring every child is properly restrained while in a motor vehicle,” said Soto. “Our goal is very simple: prevent disability and death among the youngest members of our community.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.