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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
 

Child Passenger Safety

​​​​​​​Keeping Kids Safe in Vehicles​

 


Statistics

  • Children pay with their lives if you don't protect them with proper car seat use. 

  • From 2016 – 2020 in Minnesota:

    • ​20 children (ages 0-7) were killed in motor vehicles and only eight of the victims were known to be properly secured (8 were not properly restrained, and restraint use was unknown in 4 fatalities).

    • Of the 87 children (ages 0-7) seriously injured in motor vehicles, only 49 percent were known to be properly secured.

Minnesota Child Car Seat Law and Steps​

  • In Minnesota, all children must be in a child restraint until they are 4’9” tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first.

  • Rear-facing child seats - Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.

  • Forward-facing seats - Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.

  • Booster seats - Use after outgrowing a forward-facing harnessed restraint; safest to remain in a booster until 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8, whichever comes first.

  • Seat belts - Use when children can sit with their back against the vehicle seat and have their knees bent comfortably over the edge with their feet touching the floor.

 Keeping Children Safe

  • In the past five years (2016-2020), 20 children (ages 0–7) were killed in motor vehicles and only 40 percent of the victims were known to be properly secured.

  • Of the 86 children (ages 0–7) seriously injured in motor vehicles in the past five years, only 50 percent of the victims were known to be properly secured.

  • Of the 15,672 children ages 0–7 who were properly restrained in the past five years, 88 percent were not injured, and another 9 percent sustained only minor or possible injuries.

For the safety of your children 

  • Be an attentive driver

  • Always buckle up

  • Always secure your children in the proper restraint for their age, height and weight.

  • Always have your children sit in the back seat.

See what happens to a child in the front seat when an air bag deploys.​​​​​​​​​