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Checking your child’s car seat ahead of holiday travel

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 4:41 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If your holiday travel plans include hitting the road, you may want to check that your child’s car seat is properly installed. It turns out, the majority of them are not.

“Three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly,” says Nellie Martinez, a car seat safety instructor for REMSA.

Martinez has been helping parents in Northern Nevada for years. She says a lot of parents have good intentions and don’t realize they’re making mistakes. Some of the most common problems she sees include: car seats not secured tightly enough in the vehicle, parents move their child up in car seats before they are the appropriate size, and the harness strap is too loose or too low on a child.

Martinez says the harness should be raised to armpit level when a child is sitting in the car seat. It should fit snug against the child’s chest.

Martinez urges parents to read their car seat manuals carefully. But if you’re still uncertain whether your child’s seat is secured correctly, there is help available.

REMSA offers car seat inspections. Parents and guardians can call to set up an appointment -- to either get their child’s car seat installed or inspected. Martinez says it offers that peace of mind that can be critical.

“In my case, I have grandbabies, so I want to make sure they’re always safe. It’s too late when you have an accident, so as soon as you have a child or you know you’re going to have a child, get it professionally checked to make sure you’re okay or to learn little tips,” says Martinez.

To register for a car seat inspection/installation at REMSA, call (775) 353-0772 or go to https://www.remsahealth.com/outreach/point-of-impact/

The cost is $25, which helps to support the program.

In 2022, the Point of Impact Car Seat Inspection and Installation program will return, offering checkpoints throughout the community.

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