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AAA Nevada promotes proper usage of child safety seats

Although parents will do anything to protect their children, they often unknowingly fasten young ones improperly in car seats.

University Medical Center in Las Vegas and AAA are pushing the importance of car seat inspections, as it takes only a few minutes to ensure that the seat is properly installed.

Though most parents think their car seat is safely installed, research shows that 75 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly, AAA said.

AAA Nevada’s nationally certified child passenger safety technicians offer free car seat inspections and installations year-round.

AAA car seat technician Jennifer Martinez has been inspecting car seats for four years and recalled her first child passenger safety seat course, which ignited her dedication to informing others.

“Every single thing you could think of that a parent could do wrong, I did. I was completely mortified,” Martinez said in a release. “At that point, the light bulb clicked in my head. I need to make sure my child is safe. If I can make my child safe, why not be out there in the community and do the same for others?”

Properly installed child car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, AAA research found.

As part of the recent Child Passenger Safety Week, AAA is highlighting the most commonly made mistakes in car seat installation.

Don’t move children out of booster seats too soon: Seat belts are designed to fit adults, and improper usage can result in head, neck or spine injuries in children. Caregivers should keep children in booster seats until a seat belt fits them properly.

Ensure the car seats are secured properly: If the seat belt or lower anchor connection is too loose, the car seat will not stay put, subjecting a child to greater crash forces. Children’s car seats should not move side to side or front to back more than 1 inch when tested at the belt path.

Properly tighten harness straps: If a harness is too loose, children will not be properly restrained if a crash occurs. Harness straps should lie flat without any twists. The harness should be snug enough that you cannot pinch any extra harness material at a child’s shoulder.

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