HGH EMS Rescue 'KISS' Schedules Car Seat Checkpoint

.— Local EMS officials say it will take less than an hour for parents and caregivers to find out if their child is in an age-appropriate, correctly installed car seat.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, HGH EMS Rescue will host a free car seat checkpoint as part of its Child Passenger Safety program: “KISS” or “Kids in Safety Seats.”

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

Additionally, a certified technician works closely with families of newborn babies to assure their child safety seat is properly installed before going home from the hospital.

The agency also hosts the Family Safety Vehicle Program for the Sixth Judicial District Court—mandated child passenger safety restraint education which is ordered after a caregiver has been cited by law enforcement for driving while a child is unrestrained.

Soto said a trailer and supplies funded through a grant from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety also enable local technicians to conduct quarterly “fitting stations” on the road.

The March 16 checkpoint will be held at the Walmart parking lot, located at 3010 Potato Road in Winnemucca.

Soto said technicians will install new car seats as well as conduct safety checks on currently installed seats. All seats will be checked for compatibility with participants’ car model as well as to ensure children are in appropriately sized seats for their height and weight.

A limited number of new car seats will be available based on a sliding fee scale.

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

“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.”

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

For more information, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1363.