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Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional-injury death among children ages 1-14. To help keep children safe, Safe Kids Minnesota offers these safety tips for driving to school or participating in car pools:
  • Always use child safety seats and/or safety belts correctly every time you ride. Never carry more passengers than there are safety belts in the vehicle. In Minnesota, 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 that meets federal safety standards. (Learn more about Minnesota's child passenger safety and booster seat law at http://www.carseatsmadesimple.org/mnlaw.cfm).

  • Don't store loose or heavy objects in the passenger area of the car. They could hurt someone if you stop suddenly.

  • Allow extra time in the schedule to avoid the pressure to speed.

  • Drop off children as close to school as possible so that they don't have to cross the street, and make sure they enter and leave the car on the curb side.

  • Arrange to pick up your child at a safe spot away from traffic congestion. Check with the school for preferred areas.
Children and Air Bags
  • The back seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
  • Never place an infant (less than 1 year old) in a rearward-facing child safety seat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with a front passenger air bag. The back of a rear-facing infant or convertible seat rests too close to the air bag cover. Because the air bag opens with a great deal of force, it could seriously injure or kill the baby.
  • If it is absolutely necessary for a child age 12 or under to ride in the front seat of a car with a front passenger side air bag:
    • Secure the child in a restraint system that is correct for the size of the child: a front facing child safety seat, a booster seat or a lap/shoulder belt.
    • Move the front seat as far back from the dashboard as possible.

Acknowledgments:
Safe Kids Worldwide
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration