New Minnesota law gets stricter on child passenger safety

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Minnesota has recently passed a new child restraint law which may change the way your children travel within a vehicle. This law goes into effect on August 1, 2024:

“Every driver who transports a child or children under the age of 18 years old in a motor vehicle is required to have the child or children restrained in a child safety seat or seat belt. If a child can be placed in more than one category, then the child must be placed in the more protective category.”

For example, a 2.5-year-old child weighing 35 pounds who has a car seat with a rear facing limit of 40 pounds must stay rear facing even though they are over 2 years of age. Another additional change to note: Children under 13 years of age must sit in the back seat if possible.

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the U.S. These deaths and injuries are 100% preventable. In a review of 2023 data, Hennepin Healthcare found 53% of children who were seen within our system and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle crash were improperly restrained. Proper child restraint use and fit is imperative for preventing injuries and deaths.

Mn Safety Council infographic on car seat requirements based on age and size

Credit: Minnesota Safety Council

If you have questions regarding child restraint needs and fit, visit a local car seat clinic. A child passenger safety technician will review your child restraint with you and your child to determine the proper fit and ensure the seat is securely fastened within your vehicle.