Car seat inspections offered
Studies show that eight out of every 10 child safety seats are incorrectly installed.
Conversely, a properly installed car seat increases a child’s chance of survival in the automobile accident by as much as 71 percent.
The Luke Schaffner Memorial Foundation is trying to ensure that none of the children in the Tahoe-Truckee region become part of the tragic statistics with the Fourth Annual Luke Schaffner Children’s Safety Day this Sunday, Oct. 6.
“The focus of this year’s event is mainly car seat inspection,” said Jenny Fellows, public relations manager for the event. “Some of the questions we often encourage parents to ask themselves include ‘Does my child’s car seat move more than inch, either sideways of back and forth? Is my child’s car seat on any type of recall list? Are the shoulder straps properly threaded?'”
The event, also sponsored by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) out of Reno, is scheduled to take place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Sierra Mountain Middle School.
During that time, REMSA’s team of experts will be on hand to inspect child safety seats, answer questions and educate people on proper installation techniques.
“All inspectors on hand are trained and certified by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA),” Fellows said.
“The idea is not only to make sure that each seat is properly installed, but also to educate parents and caregivers on proper installation, so they can walk away from the event feeling confident,” Fellows said.
The foundation and the event was started four years ago by Jim and Kristi Schaffner after their 11-month-old young son Luke was killed in an automobile accident in 1999.
An investigation into the cause of the infant’s death raised questions about the installation of the child safety seat.
“This event is really about honoring and remembering Luke, as well as making the children in our community safer,” Fellows said.
She added that it also comes at a time when new laws for child safety seats have recently gone into effect.
“Now, state laws require that all children up until age six and 60 pounds must be in some type of child safety seat,” Fellows said. “The old law was age 4 and 40 pounds.”
As a special treat for the kids in the attendance, REMSA will be landing its CareFlight helicopter in the parking lot.
“We encourage people to get there early and guarantee that we will check the first 100 car seats to arrive,” she said.
For more information, contact the Luke Schaffner Memorial Foundation at 582-5781.