The Preliminary 2009 crash facts from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) revealed that none of the four children under age 7 who were killed in crashes were properly restrained. In addition, seven of the 10 children involved in crashes were seriously injured.
That is why DPS is encouraging all parents and caregivers to use correct booster seats for children. Minnesota does have a booster seat law that became effective July 1 of this year. This law states that a child cannot ride in a seat belt alone until they are 8 years old or reach 4 feet 9 inches tall — whichever comes first. DPS recommends keeping a child in a booster seat based on their height rather than their age.
Boosters are for children that have outgrown a forward-facing child seat. This means that a child can use a booster seat who is about 40 pounds and age 4. A booster seat lifts a child up so a seat belt fits properly. Poor seat belt fit can contribute to serious injury — such as internal decapitation — ejection and death in traffic crashes.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit DPS’s website for materials including the “Buckle Up Kids” and “Don’t Skip a Step” brochures that provide detail on how to properly secure a child in a vehicle. Let’s keep our kids safe and secure while riding in a car.