Keeping Kids Safe in Vehicles
In Minnesota, three out of four child seats are used incorrectly, and many parents aren’t aware of the restraint steps a child should progress through as they age and grow. A vehicle is the most dangerous place for children and crashes are the leading killer of children under age 14.
Children are best protected in the back seat. Because air bags were designed to protect average-sized adult males and NOT children they can be extremely dangerous to infant or young children seated in front of them. According to research conducted by CHOP, children exposed to air bags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury.
Booster seats are the Law in Minnesota
All children under age 8 must ride in a federally approved care seat or booster seat, unless the child is 4'9" or taller.
Learn more about Minnesota's child passenger safety law.
View "Just as Dangerous" — booster seat TV PSA.
Common Child Passenger Safety Mistakes
Turning a child from a rear-facing restraint to a forward-facing restraint too soon. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends keeping children rear-facing until 2 years old if possible.
Restraint is not secured tight enough — it should not shift more than one inch side-to-side or out from the seat.
Harness on the child is not tight enough — if you can pinch harness material, it’s too loose.
Retainer clip is up too high or too low — should be at the child’s armpit level.
The child is in the wrong restraint, read the car seat manual for height and weight guidelines.
A child is moved into a seatbelt to soon. Boosters are the law
Weight requirements are not followed for lower anchors. NHTSA advises not to use the lower anchors of LATCH if the combined weight of the child and the car seat combined is over 65 pounds.