Over 70% of child safety seats are installed incorrectly! The Howell County Health Department is an inspection station for child safety seats and has 4 certified CPS technicians on staff. Technicians can help parents / caregivers by educating them on the correct installation of their car seat. The Health Department can also help families in need, who are enrolled in the Women, Infant, and Children nutrition program (WIC) by providing one car seat per family.

The Child Restraint Law for Missouri (RSMO 307.182) states that:

  • Children less than 4 years old or less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children ages 4 through 7 who weigh at least 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4’9” tall
  • Children 8 and over or weighing at least 80 pounds or at least 4’9” tall are required to be secured by a safety belt or buckled into an appropriate booster seat

The new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and followed by Safe Kids and the National Highway Safety Administration recommend that children remain in a rear facing child safety seat as long as possible or to the maximum weight or height limit for that child safety seat. Frontal crashes are the most common and children who ride in the rear facing position have increased protection for their head, neck, and spine.

Children who are 8 years and over and weigh at least 80 lbs. by state law may go into a seat belt but the seat belt needs to fit that child properly. Children should be able to sit with their bottom and back up against the vehicle seat and their knees should bend naturally at the seat, not stick out. The seat belt shoulder portion should be in the middle of their shoulder and not rub against the child’s neck. The lap portion of the seat belt should go across the child’s hips and not ride high on their stomach, as this could cause internal injuries in a crash.

For help with checking your child’s safety seat is installed correctly or making sure your child is big enough to ride in a seat belt please call the Howell County Health Department and schedule an appointment with a certified child passenger safety seat technician today at 417-256-7078.

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