Proper Child Restraints Highlighted During National Child Passenger Safety Week

National Child Passenger Safety Week is being observed next week and the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to make sure child passengers in vehicles are properly restrained.

In 2021, 14 children under the age of 8 were killed in traffic crashes and another 1,749 were injured in the State of Missouri.

Missouri law requires that children less than 4 years old use an appropriate child passenger restraint system. Children under 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be secured in a restraint system appropriate for the child.

Those children ages 4 to 8 who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and under 4 foot 9 inches tall must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat.

Children ages 8 through 15 must wear seat belts regardless of the type of vehicle in which they are riding and persons less than 18 years of age operating or riding in trucks must wear seat belts regardless of the gross weight.

No person under the age of 18 is allowed to ride in the unenclcsed bed of a truck on lettered highways, federal, state-maintained highways and within city limits.

Drivers are responsible for ensuring passengers under the age of 16 are buckled up safely.

For safety reasons, the Missouri State Highway Patrol discourages the purchase of child safety seats at a garage sale or other secondhand outlets. Also, a safety seat that has been in a vehicle during a traffic crash should be replaced.

There is no one “safest” child safety seat. Use the one that fits your child, fits in your vehicles correctly, and one that you will use correctly every trip, every time. For more information about the proper use of child restraint systems or to schedule a child safety seat inspection, contact the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol troop headquarters and ask for the public information and education officer, or visit