Every year, the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsors Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week. Considering car accidents are one of the top causes of death for children, this week serves as a reminder of how important it is to make sure our children are safe in the car.
This year, Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week runs from September 18-24, 2022 and aims to promote child safety in vehicles and encourages parents to ensure their child has the proper car seat for their age and height. Additionally, Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week also instructs and reminds parents on how to install a car seat.
Patterson Legal Group wants every parent to keep their child safe in the car. Keep reading to learn more about child car safety and what car seat you might need for your child.
What Child Passenger Safety Device Do I Need for My Child?
If you aren’t sure what car seat your child needs, visit the NHTSA’s Car Seat Finder. The type of car seat your child will need depends on your child’s age, weight, and height. Purchasing a new car seat every time your child reaches a new milestone for age, weight, or height can be pricey. To save some money, it’s a good idea to purchase a convertible and all-in-one car seat. These seats have a higher height and weight limits so you can use it longer.
While the car seat requirements change, one of the most important things to remember to keep your child safe in the car is to keep them in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible.
This is the safest position for your child in the car.
Your child is ready to ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether once they outgrow their rear-facing seat. It’s time to switch to a booster seat when your child outgrows their forward-facing car seat with a harness. Once your child outgrows the booster seat, they can switch to a seat belt.
Child Passenger Safety Device Laws
Laws governing car seats and seat belts are not universal and vary from state to state. Parents often have many questions about car seats and keeping their children safe. Since our law offices are located in Kansas and Missouri, here’s a rundown of the car seat laws in both states.
Kansas Car Seat Laws
According to the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office (KTSRO), in 2020, 770 Kansas children were injured in car accidents and 6 were killed. Making sure your child is in the proper car seat is the best way to prevent injuries and even deaths in car accidents. If you live in Kansas, here’s what you need to know about car seat laws.
- Children under 40 inches are required to use a child restraint.
- Children under 8 years of age and 40-57 inches must use a booster seat.
- Seat belts are required for those 14 and up.
- Children can start wearing a seat belt from ages 8-13, or from ages 4-7 over 80 pounds or 57 inches or taller.
Missouri Car Seat Laws
In 2019, Missouri saw a total of 931 children injured in car accidents and 2 were killed, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. Here’s what Missouri residents need to know about car seats.
- Children under 4 or under 40 pounds must use a car seat.
- Children from ages 4-7, 40-80 pounds, and under 57 inches must use a car seat or a booster seat.
- Children over 80 pounds or taller than 57 inches must use a booster seat or seat belt.
- Children from age 8 and up, over 80 pounds, and taller than 57 inches can use a seat belt.
Child Passenger Safety Tips
Besides using the proper child safety device in the car, here are a few more tips to help keep your child safe in the car.
- Check the car seat expiration date. Child restraints have an expiration date because technological advancements and industry standards both change over time. The expiration date is often stamped on the manufacturer’s label on the side or base of the child safety seat. Most will last 6 to 10 years.
- Create an emergency card. An emergency card with the child’s name, date of birth, emergency contact information, medical information, and other crucial information will enable first responders to identify your children in the event that you are in an accident and can’t communicate with your children.
- Back seat is best. The back seat is the safest place for all children. Car seats cannot always be installed in locations where seat belts are present. For example, the lower LATCH anchors cannot be used in the center seating position. To find out where you can install a car seat safely in your vehicle, see your car’s owner manual.
Hurt In a Car Accident? Patterson Legal Group Can Help!
Wearing a seatbelt and using the proper car seat are the best ways to protect yourself and your child from car accident injuries. However, even the safest drivers and passengers can still find themselves injured if involved in a car accident. If that’s the case with you, Patterson Legal Group may be able to help you seek compensation.
Our “no win, no fee” policy ensures that you won’t be charged for legal services unless we win your case. Get in touch with us 24/7 to get started on your case. You can call us (888) 687-2400, use our LiveChat feature, or complete our secure contact form.