Facts about using each type of seat
Infant only or rear-facing convertible seat
Newborn to at least 1 year old & 20 pounds
May stay rear facing longer in convertible set to 30 or 35 pounds
Always place rear-facing safety seats in the reclined position at a 30 to 40 degree angle. Keep the harness snug, and at or below the shoulders.
Never place a rear-facing child seat in front of an airbag,
Most babies will outgrow an infant seat (designed for babies 20-22 pounds) before age 1. Change to a convertible seat with a higher rear facing weight limit.
Adult Seat Belt
Over 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall
Minnesota’s seat belt law is a primary offense, meaning drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child safety seat. Law enforcement will stop and ticket unbelted motorists or passengers
Your child is ready for an adult seat belt when they can sit with their back against the vehicle seat edge without slouching, and feet touching the floor
Children 4 feet 9 inches or more can correctly fit in a lap/shoulder belt.
Check out seatbelt facts
(just the facts – Minnesota crash facts)
Students at Faribault High School
for more information at the above sites
Convertible or combination seat 1 to 4 years old
Place forward- facing in the upright position
Move the harness straps to the proper reinforced slots
Keep the harness snug and at or above the shoulders. Check the manufacture’s instructions for exact positioning
Some types of child seats can be used as a booster seat when the harness is removed
A child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches is required to be fastened in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal safety standards. Under this law, a child cannot use a seatbelt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall – whichever comes first. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster seat based on their height, rather than their age.
Booster are necessary for a child who has outgrown the convertible or combination seat. Booster seats keep the lap belt positioned properly aaround a child’s hips and the shoulder belt in the correct position.
Some booster come with a high back, others come without a back, but both must be used with a lap and shoulder belt.
Boosters without a back may only be used in vehicles with a head rest.
If a vehicle is equipped with only a lap belt, use a tethered harness or check with an auto dealership to have shoulder belts installed.
Pregnancy and Seat Belts
Pregnant women should wear the lab belt under the stomach, as low on the hips as possible and against the upper thighs
The shoulder belt should rest between the breasts
Make sure the straps fit snugly
Check out this website to find the closest seat belt clinic to make sure that you have the child passenger safety seat installed correctly.
2013 – 2015 Minnesota Seat Belt Facts
- Of the 832 vehicle occupants killed, only 450 (54%) were known to be belted
- Of the 2,361 vehicle occupants seriously injured, only 1,378 (58%) were known to be belted.
- During this period, 138 motorist were killed during nighttime hours (9pm – 3 am) and only 51 (37%) of these were known to be belted.
- Over 4 in 5 unbelted traffic deaths occur on Greater Minnesota roads.
- Minnesotans that are least likely to buckle up and more likely to die in crashes are young drivers. Each year, motor vehicle occupant drivers ages 15 – 29 account for about one in three unbelted deaths and two in five unbelted serious injuries – yet this group represents only 23% of all licensed drivers.
- An American Academy of Pediatrics study shows a correlation between driver seat belt use and child restraint use. When the driver buckles up, child passengers are restrained nearly 90% of the time. When a driver doesn’t buckle up, children are restrained only ¼ of the time