Reno-Sparks Car Seat Inspection and Installation
The Point of Impact Car Seat Inspection and Installation program offers checkpoints throughout the community.
For checkpoints, bring your child(ren) if possible and car seat(s) and expect the process to take about 30-45 minutes. If you have more than one car seat it may take longer. Staff and volunteers will check for obvious defects and determine whether the car seat appears on a national recall list. In addition, they will check the installation, correct any problems and provide education on the proper use and installation of the car seat.
You should check the car seat to make sure it has all its parts, labels and instructions and it should never have been involved in a crash. Also, car seats should be registered. Registration makes it easy for the manufacturer to contact the consumer in the event of a recall.
Point of Impact launched in 1998 and is a community outreach program offered by REMSA. The program’s volunteers inspect and properly install more than 300 car seats each year. The program is administered by a REMSA employee who educates and trains volunteers who staff the community checkpoint events.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Nevada law require?
Nevada law (NRS 484.474) requires that children travel in an appropriate child restraint — a car seat or booster seat — until the child reaches the age of six years old and a weight of 60 pounds. An appropriate car seat is one that is labeled for use for your child’s age and weight. Be aware that Nevada law does not reflect the recommendation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA recommends that children stay in an appropriate child restraint until the seat belt fits correctly, usually between the ages of eight and 12. This recommendation is endorsed by Safe Kids USA and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Also, remember that each state has different car seat requirements. California, for example, requires that children remain in an appropriate child restraint until they reach the age of eight and a weight of 80 pounds. For a list of the car seat laws in each state, click here.
When can I turn my rear-facing child forward-facing?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that toddlers stay in the rear-facing position as long as possible. Turning a child forward-facing too soon can result in severe neck and/or head injuries in a crash. At a minimum, a child needs to stay rear-facing until his/her second birthday or until he/she has reached the rear-facing weight limit of a convertible car seat (a car seat that can be used both rear- and forward-facing). Check the car seat owner’s manual or the car seat labels for height and weight limits for your car seat.
When can my child begin using a booster seat instead of a car seat?
A child can move from a car seat with a harness to a booster seat when three conditions are met. First, the child has reached the maximum weight or height of their forward-facing car seat. Check the car seat owner’s manual or the car seat labels for height and weight limits for your car seat. Second, the child weighs at least 40 pounds. Some booster seats are labeled for use beginning at 30 pounds, but we hesitate to recommend a booster for a child who does not weigh 40 pounds. Finally, because the booster seat has no internal harness and uses the seat belt as an adult would, the child must be mature enough to leave the seat belt buckled for the entire duration of the trip.
When can my child stop using the booster seat?
The child can stop using the booster and use a vehicle seat belt when ALL the following requirements are met:
- The child’s knees bend at the edge of the seat when their backs and bottoms are against the vehicle seat back—no slouching!
- The vehicle lap belt rests across the upper thighs.
- The shoulder belt fits across the shoulder and chest.
Most children are usually between the ages of eight and 12 when the vehicle seat belt fits properly. If not all these requirements are met or if the seat belt does not fit correctly, the child needs to stay in a booster seat. For more information, click here.
When can my child sit in the front seat?
The back seat is the safest place for children to ride. Children need to stay safely restrained in the back seat until they are 13 years old, regardless of weight or height. A child under 13 years old does not have the physical development to withstand the speed and force of a passenger airbag deployment. Children as old as 14 have been killed by an airbag while riding in the front seat.
How can I make sure my car seat is installed correctly?
Start by reading the manual for your car seat and your vehicle. When your seat is installed correctly, it will move less than one inch along the seat belt path. If you are still having problems, our Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to help you through our community programs.
REMSA’s Point of Impact program offers free monthly checkpoints where our technicians can help you with your car seat installation. They are offered one Saturday each month — except December — at locations throughout the Reno/Sparks area.
One of REMSA`s community partners, Renown also offers appointments at the Car Seat Fitting Station for car seat installation education. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 11:00 am and 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm. To make an appointment, call (775) 982-2620. For more information about the Renown Children’s Hospital Car Seat Station, click here.
I need to buy a car seat for my child. Which one is the best?
The best car seat for any child is one that is the right seat for the age and weight of the child riding in it, that fits the car the child will travel in and that is easy enough for the parent to use correctly every time. While our employees and volunteers can recommend a certain type of seat or features you can look for, they cannot recommend a specific manufacturer or model of car seat.
I have a car seat that I am not using anymore. What can I do with it?
Inspect your car seat to see if it is expired. Some manufacturers mold the seat’s expiration date into the plastic frame of the car seat. If you can’t locate the expiration date, find the date of manufacture on the car seat label. Car seats generally expire six years after their manufacture date. If your car seat is expired, it can’t be used again, and you can dispose of it. We recommend that you cut the straps and throw the pad and straps away separate from the car seat shell so that someone cannot pull it out of the trash and use it.
If your car seat is not expired, you have two options. You can give it to a friend or relative; if you do this, make sure to include the car seat’s owner’s manual! The second option is to provide it as a donation to the Point of Impact program. Keep in mind, however, that we cannot distribute used car seats for use by other families. Point of Impact uses secondhand seats in good condition to train new volunteers and technicians.
Point of Impact does not recommend that you sell your car seat or donate it to an organization for resale (most thrift stores or organizations will not take them). We also do not recommend that you buy a car seat from a garage sale or use a secondhand car seat unless you personally know the previous owner and are SURE the car seat has never been in a crash.
I was in a crash. Do I need to replace my car seat?
If your crash is considered moderate or severe, your car seat will need to be replaced. If your crash was minor, however, you can continue to use your car seat. A crash is considered minor if ALL the following are true:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash.
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- No passengers sustained an injury due to the crash.
- The vehicle’s air bags did not deploy.
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
If any of these statements are FALSE, your crash is considered moderate or severe and your car seat needs to be replaced.
Keep in mind that some car insurance companies will require car seat replacement, regardless of the severity of the crash. Contact your insurance agent for details.
My question was not answered here. Where can I get more information?
If you have specific questions, call us at (775) 858-5700. We are happy to answer your questions or refer you to local resources if necessary.
For general car seat and safety information, you may find the following links useful:
- Safe Kids Washoe County
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- American Academy of Pediatrics Parent Information
Car Seat Manufacturer Websites:
- Baby Trend
- Safety 1st, Cosco, Maxi Cosi, Eddie Bauer
- Peg Perego
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Children’s Safety Network
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Automotive Safety For Children Program
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Safety Belt Coalition
- SafetyBeltSafe USA
- National Safe Kids