The number one way kids travel to school is in your vehicle. The most tragic injury to a child comes when parents think they are doing the right thing by following the rules when it comes to passenger safety, but often learn the hard way that Nevada law does not protect their children.
In Nevada, NRS says that if your child weighs 60 pounds and is six years old, they can be just in a seat belt system, and they can ride anywhere in the vehicle that’s available and isn’t the back of a pick-up truck. The reality, and why 40 other states have stricter laws than ours, is that seats belts are designed for people who are more than 57” tall and the locking mechanism in the belt does not know to activate in a crash if there isn’t 80 pounds of pressure in the seat. Advocates have been trying to upgrade our booster seat law since 2003. What was asked for then will be asked for again in 2017. Nevada law needs to require children to be in a booster seat until they are 57” tall and weigh 80 pounds and that when practicable, children under age 13 ride in the back seat of the car.
On August 26, new booster seats were given out to 60 children in need at Gene Ward Elementary School in Las Vegas. Senator Joyce Woodhouse, who will sponsor the Transporting Children Safely legislation in the 2017 session, shared comments with the audience on the importance of being properly restrained in the vehicle. Also participating in the event to teach parents about proper seat belt and child seat use were Jeanne Marsala, RN, Director of Safe Kids, Clark County, and Sunrise Trauma Outreach Coordinator, Officer Robert Mayer, CCSD Police, and Child Seat Advocate, Steve Archambo of Community Ambulance.
The seats were donated by Safe Kids Clark County and CCSD Police, from grants made by AAA Nevada.
Remember the importance of making sure our children ride safely to school and to every destination by making sure your child has the appropriate safety equipment for the car and that you are using it properly.