Child Passenger Safety
Child Passenger Safety Law
Maryland's Child Passenger Safety Law since 2008:
- Every child under 8 years old must ride in a booster seat or other appropriate child safety seat. Child safety seat includes infant seats, convertible seats, forward facing seats, booster seats or other federally approved safety devices.
- Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a car seat must be secured in the vehicle's seat belt.
Protect your child as they ride! The back seat is the safest. Children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat.
For more information call Maryland Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) at 1-800-370-SEAT or 410-767-6016. Or visit them online at www.mdkiss.org.
Babies ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year AND 20 pounds.
When they outgrow their infant carrier they can ride rear-facing in a convertible
seat. Keeping children rear-facing until 30-35 pounds, as most convertible
seats allow, is the safest for your baby.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers ride in a forward-facing
carseat with a harness until child is at least 40 pounds or until they reach the seat's height and weight limit. See label on seat.
This includes convertible seats and combination toddler booster seats with
Your child is ready for a BOOSTER SEAT when they weigh
over 40 pounds.
Low-Back Booster Seat
High-Back Booster Seat
Booster seats help position your child so the lap/shoulder seat belt fits them
correctly. With a booster seat, the lap belt fits over their hips and touches
the top of their legs and the shoulder belt is centered on the shoulder and
chest and not across their face and neck.
- A backless booster can be used if the seats of your car
are high and your child’s head does not go above the seat.
- A high-back booster is needed if the seats of your car
are not high and do not have head restraints (headrests).
When is my child ready to ride without a booster seat?
Take the 5-Step Test*:
(Have your child sit in the car using the lap/shoulder belt without their
booster seat to take the test)
- Does your child sit all the way back with hips against the auto seat?
- Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
- Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
- Is the lap belt as low on the hips as possible and touching the thighs?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your child
still needs to use a booster seat to ride safely in the car.
Seat belts do not usually fit kids safely until they are 4’9” tall,
weigh about 80 pounds and are about 8-12 years old.
The back seat is the safest place to ride. Children should ride in
the back seat until they are at least 13 years old!
*5-Step Test taken from SafetyBeltSafe USA
For Inquiries Contact Maryland Kids in Safety Seats online or by phone: www.mdkiss.org