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Installing Your Child's Car Seat

Baltimore County's public safety experts believe that it's in a child's best interest for parents to know how to install a car seat themselves. Police and Fire personnel recommend that parents and other caregivers begin by reading and following the manufacturer's instructions.

This website provides many other additional installation tips and resources that will help you.

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. Babies and young toddlers should ride rear-facing as long as possible. Children should stay in a rear-facing seat until they reach the maximum height and weight limits of the seat. Convertible seats may be used rear-facing until 30 to 45 pounds. From age 4 until about age 10 to 12, most kids need to ride in a booster seat to ensure proper seat belt placement.
  • Make sure the car 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. (Booster seats are not secured tightly into the vehicle.)
  • 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.

Comprehensive information about car seat laws and usage is available through the Maryland Department of Health's Kids In Safety Seats.

Referrals to Other Organizations

You may also wish to contact one of these local agencies that provide assistance with car seats:

Revised November 15, 2017         


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