Is your child in an appropriate car seat? The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to ensure all caregivers of young children know the importance of buckling children in an appropriate child restraint.
In 2019, 13 children less than eight years of age were killed and 52 suffered serious injuries as occupants in motor vehicle crashes in Missouri. Thirty-five percent of the children killed and seriously injured were not properly restrained in an appropriate seat.
Missouri law requires all children under eight to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat, unless:
• They are at least 80 pounds; or
• They are at least 4’9” tall.
However, highway safety professionals recommend children remain in an appropriate child safety seat until they meet all three criteria. Furthermore, experts strongly encourage children to remain in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 or as long as the height and weight specifications of the car seat allow.
Child Passenger Safety Week takes place Sept. 20-26. Motorists can expect increased enforcement of Missouri’s child seat safety laws throughout this campaign.
“The goal is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly securing all children in the correct car seat for their age and size,” said Jon Nelson, chair of the executive committee for the coalition. “Using the appropriate seat prevents serious injuries and could save your child’s life.”
Child safety seat technicians provide education and car seat inspections at locations across the state. A list of Missouri’s car seat inspection stations and their locations can be found at seatcheck.org. Appointments and social distancing protocol may be necessary.
Also, remember that car seats have expiration dates. Due to the extreme heat and cold that they’re subject to, they can break down over time. Used car seats can also be dangerous, especially if you don’t know the seat’s history.
Most hospitals require vehicles to be furnished with a child safety seat before releasing a newborn into the mother’s care. Many have programs provide assistance to new parents who can’t afford to purchase one.
“We urge everyone to get their child safety seats inspected, especially new parents,” said Nelson. “There are so many options available out there, and a certified technician can help ensure parents are using an appropriate seat that will protect their children.”
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, visit saveMOlives.com. You can also follow Save MO Lives on social media.