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Installation Checklist 6: Seat Belts

Important: This is a general checklist designed to be used in combination with your vehicle owner’s manual. To get the most out of this checklist, have the manual handy for quick reference.

Children 4 feet 9 inches tall or taller and around age 8 can often correctly fit in a vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt.

Seat Belt___ 1) Check that your child is large enough to ride safely in the vehicle seat belt.
  • Does your child sit with his or her back against the vehicle seat back?
  • Do your child’s knees bend comfortably over the edge of the vehicle seat?
  • Do your child’s feet touch the floor?
  • Does the shoulder belt rest across your child’s chest (not on the face or upper arm)?
  • Does the lap portion of the belt stay low on the hips?
  • Can your child ride comfortably in this position for the whole trip?
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, your child can ride using the vehicle’s seat belt system. If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to safely use the seat belt. Placing the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm, slouching in the seat to touch the floor, and problems with the shoulder belt touching the face are all indications that your child still needs a booster seat.

___ 2) Children under the age of 13 should sit in the back seat of a vehicle.

See how to do it on video: "Car Safety for Your Older Children" linked from

Protect children from traffic injuries. You can do it!

Content provided by the Minnesota Safety Council, AAA Clubs of Minnesota, Safe Kids Minnesota and the
Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety.