Installing Your Child's Car Seat
Baltimore County's public safety experts believe that it's in a child's best interest for his/her parents to know how to install a car seat themselves. Fire and police personnel recommend that parents and other caregivers begin by reading and following the manufacturer's instructions.
Remember, for your child to be safe you must "Get It Right and Get It Tight":
- Make sure you buy the RIGHT seat for your child's age and weight.
From birth to at least 1 year and 20 pounds, children belong in a rear-facing seat; children are safer if they stay in a rear-facing position until they reach the upper weight limits of the seat. From about 1 to 4 years or 20 to 40 pounds, use a forward-facing seat. From 4 to 8 years and above 40 pounds, use a booster seat.
- Make sure the seat fits TIGHTLY into the car. A properly installed car seat will not budge more than an inch in either direction when pulled at the belt path.
- Make sure the child's harness straps are TIGHT -- but not too tight -- and straight. Straps should be snug and should not sag or twist, and the chest clip should be at armpit level.
Referrals to Other Organizations
You may also wish to contact one of the other local public agencies or private organizations that provide assistance with car seats:
- Baltimore County Police Department, Stacia Smith, call 410-887-8717
- Maryland CPS Safety Association, Debbie Baer, call 410-653-1979
- Cato Whittle, Stay Safe Be Safe, call 443-865-3859
- Kids in Safety Seats, call 1-800-370-SEAT
- Carroll County Health Department, call 410-876-4448
- UMBC Police, Catonsville, call 410-455-3136
- Parent Education Office, GBMC, call 443-849-2229
Revised November 21, 2013