Car seat safety


Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension

Sept. 14-20, 2014 is National Child Passenger Safety Week

Child safety seats and booster seats may seem like a hassle, but it’s important to know how to use them properly to protect children. Car crashes kill more children 1 to 14 years old than any other cause, so adults need to use child safety tools correctly.

Missouri’s Child Restraint Law states the following:

  • Child Safety Seat: Children under 4 years old or weighing less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Booster seat with lap and shoulder belt: Children 4 to 7 years old who weigh at least 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4’9″ tall.
  • Lap and shoulder safety belts: Children 8 years and older or weighing at least 80 pounds or at least 4’9″ tall are required to be secured by a safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.

There are many reasons children need the protection of proper restraint in a vehicle. The bones of young children are soft and their ligaments are looser than adults’. They need the assistance of the appropriate car seat, booster seat or lap and shoulder belts to be held securely. These tools also protect the child from hitting or being hit by something or someone during a crash. Even during a sudden stop, these devices secure children in place, absorbing the force of such an abrupt movement and spreading that impact out safely.

For important information and resources on installing car seats safely, review the full version of this article at


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