Child Passenger Safety

Make an appointment now for one of four child safety seat checks!

On December 2, 2016 you can get your child's seat checked BY APPOINTMENT ONLY from 10am-1pm at:

Oldtown Fire Station
1100 Hillen St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

For more information, contact the Safe Kids Baltimore at 410-328-7532 or email the coordinator: khardingham@umm.edu.

Child Passenger Safety Law

Safe Kids Baltimore logo

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.

Visit Sake Kids Worldwide for The Ultimate Car Seat Guide to figure out which seat best meets your child's needs.

Babies ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year AND 20 pounds.

Photo of a baby in a rear-facing car seat

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.

Photo of an empty car seat

Convertible Seat

Photo of a toddler booster seat with harness

Toddler/Booster Seat

This includes convertible seats and combination toddler booster seats with a harness.


Your child is ready for a BOOSTER SEAT when they weigh over 40 pounds.

Photo of a child sitting in low back booster seat

Low-Back Booster Seat

Photo of a child sitting in high 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*:

Photo of a teenager sitting in back seat with regular seat belt

(Have your child sit in the car using the lap/shoulder belt without their booster seat to take the test)

  1. Does your child sit all the way back with hips against the auto seat?
  2. Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
  3. Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low on the hips as possible and touching the thighs?
  5. 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 / 1-800-370-SEAT

Visit Sake Kids Worldwide for The Ultimate Car Seat Guide to figure out which seat best meets your child's needs.

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