Missouri car seat laws require any child under the age of 4 who weighs less than 40 pounds always to use an approved child safety seat. Children under one should use a rear-facing car seat, and children two to 4 may sit forward-facing. 

Children aged 4 to 7 may move into an approved booster seat if the seat belt fits properly. Once the child is 8, is 4; 9” or 80 pounds, they may move into an adult seat belt.  According to a study in 2022, 18 of 40 child passenger deaths were known to be riding unrestrained.

The study also stated that the most common reason restrained children die from crashes is premature graduation to seatbelts and misuse of child safety seats. This study highlights the importance of following these laws religiously and not observing them as mere guidelines. 

In Missouri, children of any age may sit in the front seat of a vehicle. All the necessary car seat laws must be followed, whether the child is sitting in the front or the back of the vehicle. Let’s look more in-depth at these car seat laws to help you learn the best way to keep your child safe. 

Missouri Car Seat Laws Overview

If you’re driving in Missouri with children, remember that child restraint laws require all kids under 16 to be secured properly, so ensure you have the right car seat or booster seat for your child’s age and size.

Children under 4 years old must be secured in a child passenger restraint system meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Booster seats are required for children who weigh at least 40 pounds and are at least 4 but less than 8 years old.

Children who cannot be restrained using a child safety restraint device must sit in the back seat when there are more children in the driver’s immediate family than available seating positions.

Children weighing at least 80 pounds or over 4 feet 9 inches tall shall be secured in a safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children under 12 always ride in the back seat.

Knowing these car seat requirements in Missouri is important to ensure your child’s safety while traveling. Remember to follow manufacturer instructions when installing and using car seats, and replace them if they have been involved in a crash or past their expiration date.

With proper use of car seats and booster seats, we can reduce fatal risks during accidents by up to 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers, according to studies conducted by SeatCheck.org.

Missouri Rear-facing Car Seat Law

While traveling, you can picture your little one snuggled up in a cozy, rear-facing car seat.

In Missouri, it’s recommended that children ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach at least 2 years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat’s manufacturer. This is because rear-facing car seats provide better protection for a child’s head, neck, and spine during a collision.

Missouri law requires children under 4 years of age to be secured in a child passenger restraint system meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This includes children under the weight limit or height requirement for booster seats.

Parents should ensure they follow Missouri car seat rules to protect their child’s safety while driving.

As parents, we want to do our best to protect our little ones while traveling on the road. By following Missouri car seat laws regarding rear-facing car seats, we can ensure that our child has appropriate protection during an accident.

Always check with your local authorities for current laws and regulations regarding child safety restraints when traveling by vehicle.

Missouri Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Parents can ensure their child’s safety while driving by following the recommendation to use a forward-facing car seat for children under 4 years old or until they reach the highest weight or height the manufacturer allows. Missouri law requires children between the ages of 4 and 7, who weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, and are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, must use child booster seats. Booster seats help ensure seat belts fit properly for children too small.

To better understand why using a forward-facing car seat is important, let’s look at some statistics. According to SeatCheck.org, when used correctly, car seats reduce fatal injury in car crashes by up to 54% for toddlers. That means choosing not to use a car seat can put your child at greater risk. Following manufacturer instructions when installing and using your child’s safety seat is also crucial.

In addition to booster seat requirements in Missouri, it is important for parents and caregivers to regularly check that their child’s safety seat is properly adjusted before each use. This ensures maximum protection in case of an accident. By taking these precautions, parents can keep their children safe while on the road and comply with Missouri car seat laws.

Missouri Booster Seat Laws

Boost your child’s safety and peace of mind using a booster seat that fits their size and weight requirements.

Missouri law requires children who weigh at least 40 pounds, are at least 4 years old but less than 8 years old, weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, or are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall to use a booster seat. Booster seats help ensure that the seat belt fits properly for children too small.

It’s important to note that these laws only apply to private vehicles, not taxis. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends that children under 12 always ride in the back seat for added safety.

In Missouri, failure to abide by these laws results in a fine of $50 and court fees.

Remember always to follow manufacturer instructions when installing and using a booster seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least two years old or reach the highest weight or height the car seat’s manufacturer allows.

Missouri Front Seat Rules

Remember, it’s safer for children to ride in the back seat of a vehicle until they’re at least 13 years old. Missouri law doesn’t require children to sit in the back seat, but safety experts and organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highly recommend it.

Here are some key points to keep in mind about Missouri’s front-seat rules:

  • Children under the age of 4 or less than 40 pounds must use a child passenger restraint system in a vehicle’s rear seat.
  • If a child is between 4 and 7 years old, weighs at least 40 pounds, and is less than 4 feet and 9 inches tall, they must use either a car seat or booster seat when riding in a vehicle. If no rear seating is available or all other rear seats are occupied by children under the age of seven, then the child may be placed in the front passenger seat with an appropriate child restraint system.
  • Children aged eight or older who weigh at least 80 pounds or are taller than four feet nine inches can use an adult safety belt without additional restraints.

It’s important to follow these laws carefully and ensure your child is always properly restrained while traveling in a vehicle. While placing your child in the front seat may seem more convenient or practical, remember that their safety should always come first.

Fines for Not Following the Missouri Car SeatsLaw

You could face fines and court fees if you don’t properly restrain your child while driving. Missouri car seat laws are in place to protect children from injury or death in the event of a car accident. It’s important to follow these laws and use the appropriate child safety or booster seats, depending on your child’s weight and height.

Missouri booster seat laws require children between the ages of 4 and 7 who weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds or who are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall to use a booster seat. Failure to abide by this law can result in a $50 fine plus court fees.

Parents and caregivers need to understand that this law is not just about avoiding fines but protecting their child’s life. It can be tempting to skip using a booster seat if you’re making a short trip or your child seems uncomfortable sitting in one. However, it only takes one moment of distraction or an unexpected collision for tragedy to strike.

Resources for Help

Now that we know the fines for not following Missouri’s car seat laws, we must understand where parents and caregivers can turn for help. Luckily, numerous resources are available in Missouri to assist with selecting, installing, and correctly using child safety seats.

One valuable resource is SeatCheck.org, which provides information on child safety seats and helps you find a certified technician to inspect your car seat installation.

Additionally, the MO SafeKids Coalition Coordinator List can provide information on local inspection stations and events where you can learn more about proper car seat use.

St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center and Chesterfield PD also offer car seat inspections and assistance with installing car seats correctly.

More Missouri Car Seats Law Ressources

Tips for Compliance

To ensure that your child is properly secured in the vehicle, it’s important to follow the guidelines for child restraint and seek help from resources such as certified technicians and inspection stations.

One tip for compliance is always to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and install the car seat correctly. This can be daunting, but many resources are available, including videos online and in-person inspections at local police departments or fire stations.

Another compliance tip is to check the expiration date on your car seat. Most car seats have a shelf life of six years, after which they should be replaced. Additionally, if your car seat has been involved in a crash, it should also be replaced, even if there appears to be no visible damage. Your child’s safety is paramount, so investing in a new car seat may seem expensive, but it’s worth it.

Ensure you know Missouri’s specific laws regarding child restraint systems based on age and weight. Keeping track of all the different requirements can be confusing, but being informed will help keep your child safe while riding in a vehicle.

Remember that using a proper restraint system significantly reduces the risk of fatal injury during a crash, so taking these precautions is well worth it for you and your family’s peace of mind. 

Conclusion

I’ve learned that Missouri car seat laws are in place to protect children while they’re riding in motor vehicles.

These laws mandate the use of appropriate child safety seats or booster seats for children of various ages and sizes.

Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines, but resources are available for parents who need help purchasing or properly installing their child’s safety seat.

Parents and caregivers need to follow these laws and guidelines to ensure the safety of their children on the road.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry for our precious little ones.

Author

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren