Whether you’re taking your kids on a road trip to Grandma’s or just a quick trip to the grocery store, how can you be sure they’re safe?
It is estimated that over 1,600 children under 15 die in motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and under.
While you may think that simply buckling up is the right move, the truth is that standard safety belts are designed for adult bodies, and both safety belts and airbags can cause severe injuries to children in the event of an accident.
The best way to keep kids safe in the car is by correctly installing and using age-appropriate child safety seats.
The effectiveness of child safety seats has led many states to enact laws requiring their use, and your child’s age, weight and height all play a role in which car seat you should purchase, and when your child is ready to safely use a regular seat belt.
Let’s take a look at child passenger safety laws in Missouri, along with recommendations from the AAP.
Missouri Law reinforces the fact that standard safety belts are designed for adults and are not sufficient to protect children in case of a car crash.
How do you know which car seat to buy? Missouri has the following requirements based on the age and weight of your child:
All children under 16 must be properly secured, and the fine for violations is $50 plus court costs. The requirements do not apply to children who are being transported in a public school bus or by a public carrier for hire.
Remember that laws vary from state to state, so you’ll want to keep this in mind when driving across state lines with your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has published safety seat recommendations that actually go beyond what is required by law in many states, including Missouri. The AAP encourages parents to wait as long as possible before “graduating” their child to the next level of safety seat protection.
When is your child ready for an adult seat belt? Use the following criteria to determine whether it fits correctly:
By correctly installing the appropriate car seat for your child’s age and height, you can reduce his or her risk of severe injuries or death in case of a crash.
And if your child has been injured because of a car accident or a defective car seat, contact Eng & Woods today. Our attorneys will make sure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve.