Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children age 1–13. Most of these deaths could be prevented with proper use of child safety seats. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, three out of four child safety seats are used incorrectly.
Get your car seat checked
The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, local police departments and other agencies can check your car seat for proper use. See a list of local contacts to set up an appointment.
Minnesota state law requires that children age 7 and under be restrained in an appropriate, federally approved car seat or booster seat, unless the child is 4 feet 9 inches or taller.
Minnesota law also requires that infants under one year of age and weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Car seats must be installed and used according to manufacturer's instructions.
Minnesota law now allows law enforcement to stop motorists who are in violation of the law that requires drivers and passengers in all seating positions to be buckled up or in the correct child restraint.
For instructions on choosing a car seat and how to properly install a child safety seat visit Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.
Families with limited income may be eligible to receive a seat at no cost. Call Dakota County Public Health at 952-891-7529 to check eligibility.