Skip Navigation
Print this page.

Installing Car Seats: You Can Do This!

Not Sure If You Installed Your Child Safety Seat Properly? Have It Checked!

The Baltimore County Police Department now sponsors monthly car seat checks. These checks are intended to inspect parents' efforts to install car seats and to show them how to correct installation problems.

Check our schedule of monthly car seat checks. Note: Seat checks will be cancelled if Baltimore County public schools close due to inclement weather.


Securing your child in a properly installed car seat or booster is one of the most important safety steps you can take. Choosing and installing a seat doesn't have to be difficult - if you know a few basic tips. With a little guidance, you can do this yourself!

Baltimore County's public safety agencies are committed to protecting children by educating their parents about child safety seat use. Working together, the Fire, Police and Health departments provide child safety seat information to parents and other caregivers.

Get It Right, Get It Tight!

These experts agree that your child will ride safely if you remember this rule: Get It Right, 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.

Be sure to review thoroughly the details of the laws and best practices governing child passenger safety before you install your child's seat.

Revised March 8, 2012

Was This Page Helpful?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*