Calvert County Health Department
Child Safety Seats
Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries among young children in Calvert County. Using your child’s car safety seat correctly helps reduce motor vehicle injuries and death.
What should I know about my child’s car safety seat?
- Always refer to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions for specific directions on properly using the car safety seat. Make sure your child’s safety seat is appropriate for his / her height and weight and is positioned in the right direction. For example, infants must ride rear facing until one year of age and at least 20 pounds. In addition, children under the age of 8, less than 4’ 9” tall and less than 65 pounds must ride in a booster seat using the car lap and shoulder safety belt.
- Check to be sure the safety seat is tightly secured. Using your hand, tug the belt path area to test the rear seat. The child safety seat should not move more than 1 inch from side to side or front to back. If it is too loose, check your vehicle owner manual for additional instructions.
- Check to be sure the harness strap and harness clip are snug. The harness strap should be adjusted so that only one finger can be slipped underneath the strap at your child’s chest. The harness clip should be fastened at armpit level.
- Move your child to a booster seat when he / she outgrows the toddler seat. Most forward facing or toddler seats with harnesses can be used until your child reaches 40 pounds or when his / her shoulder is above the top harness strap slot. At that time your child must move to a booster seat and utilize the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt. The booster seat will help your child wear the lap and shoulder belt correctly and sit more comfortably. Most booster seats can be used until your child reaches 60 – 80 pounds.
- The safest place for child’s safety seat is the back seat. Frontal collisions are the most common type of car crash and severe injuries can occur in children riding in the front seat. In addition, if your vehicle has a passenger air bag, all children 12 years and under should ride in the back to prevent injuries from the force of the deploying air bag.
To schedule a seat check you must call in advance and schedule an appointment.
Calvert County Sheriff’s Office 410-535-2800
Maryland State Police Barracks 410-535-1400