Missouri kicks off Child Passenger Safety week

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In 2020, eleven children under the age of eight were killed in traffic crashes, and another 1,438 were injured. It’s one of the reasons the Missouri State Highway Patrol hopes parents use National Childhood Passenger Safety week to double check the system they are using in their car. double-check

Every car seat is different and not one system is perfect.

It’s why the Missouri State Highway Patrol says getting a set of eyes on yours from a professional is your best bet.

“It’s very important that if you’re unsure to contact one of the checkpoint stations or a tech that is available to look at your car seat,” Sergeant Michael McClure from the MSHP says.

He adds that being cautious starts before the installation. He says to avoid buying any car seats second-hand, like at a garage sale.

“That seat may look new but there are several factors that might fall into play,” he says. “We don’t know if that car seat has been in a vehicle that’s been in a crash.”

And when it comes to which one to choose, there’s no one size fits all, literally. There is no one “safest” child safety seat. But there are some laws in the state that are important to follow.

-Children less than four-years-old are required to use an appropriate child passenger restraint system.

-Children fewer than 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.

-Children ages four to eight-years-old weighing at least 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds, and are under 4′9″ tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.

-Children ages eight through 15 must wear seat belts regardless of the type of vehicle in which they are riding or where they are seated (front or back). Like the child restraint law, this is a primary law, meaning you can be pulled over by law enforcement for noncompliance.

-Anyone less than 18 years of age operating or riding in trucks (regardless of gross weight for which licensed) must wear seat belts.

-No person under age 18 is allowed to ride in the unenclosed bed of a truck with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds on lettered highways, federal, state-maintained highways, and within city limits. There are exemptions for agricultural purposes, special events, and parades.

-It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are buckled up safely. Those 16 and over are responsible for themselves.

If you’d like an extra set of eyes on your system Safe Kids Springfield offers car seat installations and checks Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment. To learn more click HERE.

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