Car seat safety is of the utmost importance for all parents, but it can be especially confusing trying to keep up with the laws in each state.
If you’re a parent living in Mississippi, it’s important to know the car seat requirements and best practices for keeping your child safe on the road.
The child car seat laws in Mississippi
According to Mississippi car seat laws, children under 4 years must be secured in a federally approved child safety seat. Children between the ages of 4 and 7 must be secured in either a child safety seat or booster seat.
Once a child reaches 8 years old or is taller than 4 feet 9 inches, he or she may use an adult lap/shoulder belt without being seated in a booster seat. And age over 13 years they can use either a seat belt or a child passenger restraint system.
Note: The driver is responsible for ensuring buckling up for passengers who are over 16 years old.
The type of child passenger restraint system required depends on the weight and height. For example, an infant who is under 4 years old and weighs less than 20 pounds must use a rear-facing car seat with harness straps. But whereas, a four-year-old who has outgrown their booster seat may ride securely in just a lap/shoulder belt, as long as it fits them snugly.
However, children should always ride in the back seat whenever possible to minimize injury risk during frontal collisions or if airbags deploy.
Fines associated with violating this law are $25 for the first offense and will jump up to $100 each subsequent time caught without proper usage of an appropriate car seat or booster form of restrainer per journey undertaken.
So why is proper restraint so necessary?
First and foremost, unrestrained passengers are much more likely at risk of serious injury or death during a crash simply because they aren’t held securely in place. In fact, According to the CDC,” Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children aged 1–13 years.”
That’s pretty sobering stuff! But even beyond fatal injuries, unrestrained kids can easily sustain bruises, broken bones, internal organ damage, and concussions just from being thrown around inside during an accident.
And as anyone who has ever been involved in even a low-speed fender binder knows, accidents happen unexpectedly and often when we least expect them. So it really pays off to take those extra few minutes (literally) each time you get into the car to make sure your kiddos – and everyone else –are safely buckled up before pulling out onto the road.
Additionally, According To NHTSA research, “The correct use of Child Safety Seats reduces fatal injury by 71% for infants (younger than 1 year old) and 54% for toddlers (1–4 years old).” That compares favorably against wearing adult seat belts, which reduce fatalities by 45%. Obviously, using CS seats offers far greater protection, especially For our most vulnerable passengers; our babies and small children. In short: child safety seats save lives.
Recap: Law by Seat Type in Mississippi
Mississippi infant car seat laws
These seats are designed for infants up to at least 1 year old and 20 pounds. Many infant-only seats can accommodate babies up to 35 pounds. An infant must always ride rear-facing and never forward-facing while using an infant-only car seat.
Convertible car seats can be used both rear and forward-facing. Usually, these are heavier than infant seat because of metal frames (some model has plastic shells too). Most convertible car seats will fit babies from 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing and 22 – 65 pounds front-facing with harnesses. After which they convert to belt-positioning boosters for kids 40lbs+.
Booster Seat laws in MS
Booster seats are for kids who have outgrown their forward-facing harness car seat, in Mississippi the booster seat is for 4 – 7 years old and 40 – 80 pounds.
Mississippi’s Booster Seat Law went into effect July 1st, 2009 making it mandatory for any child under 7 years old and weight less than 65 pounds on Mississippi roads.
They raise a child so that the seatbelt crosses in the correct position at the shoulder and lap. The back of a booster provides support for children leaning against it while they sleep or take a nap in the car.
Age and height requirements for booster seats:
In Mississippi, children 4 through 6 years old must use a booster seat if they are shorter than 57 inches (4 feet, 9 inches) tall, or if they weigh less than 65 pounds.
Children who are 4 years old and at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, or weigh at least 65 pounds, are not required to use a booster seat. However, the Mississippi Department of Health recommends that children continue to use a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old.
This is because booster seats help to position the lap and shoulder belt correctly across the child’s body, which can help to reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident.
The question that parents also looking for:
Mississippi legal height weight age to ride in front seat?
There is no legal height, weight or age to ride in the front seat of a car in Mississippi. However, it is recommended that children under the age of 13 be seated in the back seat.
When can a child sit in the front seat in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, a child under 13 years old can not ride in the front seat, unless there is no backseat or the backseat is already occupied by another child under the age of 13.
Car seat age limit in Mississippi?
There is no federal law dictating at what age a child can stop using a car seat but every state in the US requires children under the age of 8 to be properly restrained while in a vehicle.
In Mississippi, kids must be secured in either a rear-facing infant car seat, a forward-facing child seat with a harness, or a booster seat until they reach both 4 feet 9 inches tall and 8 years old.
How much is a child restraint ticket in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, a child restraint ticket will cost you $25. The state of Mississippi has strict laws when it comes to the safety of children in motor vehicles and requires that all children under the age of 7 ride in proper car seats or booster seats.
Failure to comply with these laws may result in being issued a citation for failing to use an approved child restraint device.
Mississippi Car Seat Weight Requirements
Mississippi laws require that all children under 4 years of age must be secured in a federally-approved safety seat while riding in any motor vehicle. Children between the ages of 4 and 7, who weigh more than 40 pounds, must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system.
This can include a forward-facing car seat, booster seat or combination harness to shield belt system designed for use with lap and shoulder belts.
When driving around our great state remember: BUCKLE UP ALL THE TIME regardless of how short the distance and make sure everyone else does too!
We hear horror stories almost every day that accident happens somewhere because of careless driving but wearing seat belts might change the scenario. And to Save lives follow MS car safety laws!