Minnesota State Law requires:
- A child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to be fastened is a child seat; a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8, or 4 feet 9 inches tall. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster seat based on their height rather than age.
- Infants (under 20 pounds AND one year of age) must be in a rear-facing safety seat.
- The driver of the vehicle is responsible. Suspected non-use is a valid basis to stop a motor vehicle. The driver will receive a petty misdemeanor fine for violation of this law.
Renville County Public Health provides a free car seat class to all Renville County residents. Car seats are available to PrimeWest members and others who may qualify.
To find out class dates and to sign up for the class: Call #320-523-2570.
Private car seat checks are also available upon request.
Classes run from 1:30pm to 3:30pm and are held at the Renville County Government Services Center (105 S 5th Street, Olivia, MN 56277, in room 117).
Car Seat education for fostercare and daycare (C.A.R.S) is provided as a joint effort between Renville County Public Health and Kandiyohi County Health & Human Services. This class is approved to meet the required car seat training for licensing. The class is offered nine times a year alternating in Olivia and Willmar with a $25 per person fee. To find out class dates and to sign up for the class: Call #320-523-2570.
84% of car seats and 41% of booster seats are critically misused. Get educated! Sign up today!
Securing a Child:
- Strap placement
– At or below shoulders (rear-facing)
– At or above shoulders (forward-facing)
- Pinch Test: Straps need to be tight
– Should not be able to pinch any slack at shoulders
- Retainer clip at armpit level
- Crotch strap
– Close to crotch but not sitting on it
- Infant Seats only: read manual for correct handle bar placement when transporting
- Booster seats: lap belt on hip bones, shoulder belt across chest
The primary role of a seat belt is to keep the occupant in the vehicle. If ejected, children are 25x more likely to be killed. If ejected, adults are 4x more likely to be killed.
When is it safe to use the seat belt alone?
1) Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
2) Does the child’s knees bend comfortably over the edge of the vehicle seat?
3) Does the seat belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
4) Does the lap belt ride on the hip bones next to the thighs as opposed to the abdomen?
5) Does the child’s feet touch the floor of the vehicle?
6) Can the child stay seated like this for the entire ride?
*Answering “No” to any of these questions means the child still needs a booster seat with the lap/shoulder safety belt.
Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of death for children under the age of 14.
For more information on car seat safety, visit our Resources page.