Child Seat Safety Tips

Meredith Terpstra

Child passenger seat laws can be confusing, which is why we wanted to set the record straight about Minnesota state laws and best practices for child seat safety. 

How Long to Use Rear-Facing Child Passenger Seats

The law states that a child must be in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds. Besides this specific law regarding age, experts recommend that children stay rear-facing as long as possible or until the baby’s head comes within 1 inch of the top of the shell, or they outgrow the weight limit of the rear-facing seat.

When to Switch to a Booster Seat

When a child turns 8 years old or is 4 feet 9 inches tall, they may legally use a factory-installed seat belt. It is considered a best practice for children to sit in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt. Children typically stop needing a booster seat between the ages of 8 and 12.

When You Should Use a Front-Facing Child Passenger Seat

Once a child transitions from a rear-facing seat, they must continue to sit in a child passenger restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. According to Minnesota state law, children must use a child passenger restraint system if they are under 8 years of age and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches.

When Your Child Can Sit in Front

It is safest for children to ride in the back seat of a vehicle until they are 13 years old. If your child must ride up front, make sure they are properly belted in, using their booster or car seat, if applicable, and the car’s chair is slid all the way back.

For more information on laws, best practices and helpful information visit

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