Health Services – Kids Safety Seats
The K.I.S.S. Car Seat Program provides information, equipment, and resources for parents and families on car seats and child passenger safety.
Car Seats to Loan or Buy
Some people are eligible for a low-cost loaner car seat.
Who can get services?
To get a loaner car seat, you must provide proof of WIC, Temporary Cash Assistance, or Medical Assistance.
How do I get services?
Call 410-876-4448 for an appointment. No walk-ins.
Call between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The cost to borrow a car seat is $20 for a set period of time. The seat must be returned to the Health Department on the date stated on the contract. However, the contract can be extended at no additional cost.
Some car seats are also available for purchase at a reduced price.
All car seats are federally-approved and used only for the K.I.S.S. Loaner Program. They are cleaned and inspected for wear and damage before re-use. All seats are less than six years old.
Car Seats Checks
Seat checks are by appointment only and a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician can check your car seat to make sure it is installed securely and safely.
Maryland’s child passenger safety law states that children up to age eight must ride in an appropriate child restraint, according to manufacturer’s instructions, unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches tall or taller.
Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a child restraint must be secured in a vehicle seat belt, in any seating position.
Car Seat Safety Information
Infants Up to Age 2
Infants should ride facing the back of the vehicle (rear-facing) until they reach the maximum weight or height of the seat. The typical infant-only (carrier style) seat may be used to 22 pounds. Some newer infant-only seats have weight limits of 30−35 pounds.
Once a child outgrows the infant-only seat, a rear-facing convertible seat should be used. Very young children are 76% safer when they ride rear-facing up to the age of two. Always check the car seat instruction manual or labels for specific weight and height limits.
Young children should ride in a seat facing the front of the vehicle to the maximum weight and height allowed by the seat. The longer children ride in a seat, the safer they will be. Many seats now have 40−80 pound forward-facing harness systems to allow older children to continue riding in a harness system.
All harness straps should be snug and flat. Check the owner’s manual to see which set of shoulder slots should be used. The clip holding the straps together should be level with the underarms.
Many children still need a booster seat, even after reaching age 8. To decide whether or not your child can safely ride without a booster seat, answer the following questions:
• Can the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
• Do his/her knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat?
• Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
• Is the lap belt low on the hips, touching the thighs?
• Can the child stay seated in that position for the entire ride?
If you answered “no” to any of the questions, the child should remain in the booster seat.
Children under 13 are safest in the back seat.
ALWAYS Buckle Up- Every Person, Every Ride, Every Seating Position.
For More Information on Car Seats
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Safety Belt Safe, U.S.A.
- Safe Ride News
- Maryland Kids in Safety Seats
- Safe Kids Worldwide