Seat belts are not designed to keep children safe in the event of a car wreck. In the state of Missouri, there are exact age and weight restrictions stated by law to protect children while riding in a motor vehicle.
- Children should stay in a rear-facing child safety seat until 1 year old and 20 lbs. This position supports the head and neck and reduces the chance of serious spinal injuries in a crash.
- A child less than 4 years of age or weighing under 40 lbs. must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
- A child 4-7 who also weighs at least 40 lbs must be in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat until they are at least 80 lbs or 4’9.
- Children 8 years old and up, or that weigh at least 80 lbs, or taller than 4’9 may ride fastened in a seat belt.
- All children under 16 years old must be properly secured in a vehicle.
If you violate any of the above stated car seat laws, you will face a $50 fine plus court costs for that jurisdiction.
Child car seat laws are a hot topic in Missouri legislature right now after the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety’s annual report revealed Missouri as the fourth worst state when it comes to traffic safety. You can read more about Missouri’s rating here.