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Car Seat Safety

See Upcoming Events for 2015 Car Seat Clinics.

In Minnesota, three out of four childseats are used incorrectly.

Most Common Child Passenger Safety Mistakes:
  • Turning a child from a rear-facing restraint to a forward-facing restraint too soon.
  • Seat isn't secured tight enough.
  • Harness straps are loose.
  • Restainer clip is up too high or too low — should be at the child's armpit level.
  • Child is in the wrong restraint — don't rush your child into a seat belt.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
What is the child passenger safety law in Minnesota?
Minnesota law requires children age 7 and under to ride in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless the child is 4 feet 9 inches or taller.
 
What is the fine for not securing my child in a child safety seat?
The fine is $50, but with additional administrative fees the total amount can be more than $100.
 
When can I turn my child from a rear-facing to forward-facing seat?
Children must be over 1 year and 20 pounds or more before they can face forward. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends as the best safety practice that children remain rear-facing up until 2 years if possible. Most convertible seats have a rear facing weight limit up to 45 pounds.
 
When can my child start using a booster seat?
Children should remain in a harnessed restraint for as long as the height and weight limit on the seat allow. Ideally, children should not transition into a booster seat until they are at least 4 years old.
 
Can my child sit in the front seat?
Minnesota does not have a law prohibiting this. It is considered safest and the best practice to keep children in the back seat until they reach age 13. Some states do prohibit transporting children in the front seat until they are 13 years old. If traveling to other states, be aware of their child passenger safety laws.
 
Can I use a second-hand seat?
Yes, as long as the seat is not more than six years old; it's free of recalls; has not been involved in a crash; all the labels are on the seat; the instruction manual is present; you know the individual who previously owned the seat; and you know the history of the seat. Purchasing seats from garage sales and re-sale shops are not recommended.
 
Can I transport my child in my pickup?
Yes, as long as your vehicle has proper seat belts or LATCH anchors to correctly install a child safety seat. If the pick up does not have a back seat and has an active airbag that can't be turned off, you could not safely transport a child in a rear-facing restraint.

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