If you are a low-income family in Maryland, you may be wondering how to get a free car seat. Car seat safety is important for all families, but it can be especially challenging for those with limited resources.
In this article, we will provide information on how to find free car seat programs in Maryland, as well as alternative ways to get a car seat if you are unable to take advantage of these programs. We will also include the car seat laws of Maryland so that you can be sure you are complying with the state’s safety regulations.
Free car seat programs in Maryland (2022)
Maryland Department of Health
The Maryland Department of Health is committed to ensuring the safety of all Maryland residents, and offers a variety of programs to meet this goal. One such program is KISS, or Kids in Safety Seats.
The main objective of KISS is to reduce children’s injuries and deaths and increase safety rides. To achieve this, the Department of Health offers lectures and educational programs with technicians and instructors to teach parents how to set up and use the seats correctly.
In order to receive a free seat through the KISS program, parents must fulfill the application form, get a document that shows their low-income, and contact the agent. For more information, parents can call (800)-370-7328.
Baltimore Pregnancy Center
Baltimore Pregnancy Center provides many resources to low-income families in Maryland, including bassinets, car seats, strollers, furniture, beds, and more. Families in need can call the center at 410-426-9992 to learn more about the programs and services offered.
Holy Cross Health
Holy Cross Health offers a car seat rental program called Kids in Safety Seats in Maryland. This program provides car seats for 9 months. Parents can make an appointment one month before their child’s birth. For more information, parents can contact Holy Cross Health at 301-754-7158.
Alternative programs to get a free car seat in Maryland
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a great place to start when looking for a free car seat. Many WIC programs will provide a voucher for a free car seat after completing a short class on car seat safety and usage. If your local WIC office does not have such a program, they may be able to direct you to other local programs or charities that can help you.
Medicaid may also provide coverage for a free car seat – you can check your eligibility and apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace website. Generally, Medicaid will ask you to enroll in a short car seat safety course before providing a free car seat.
Buckle up for Life has donated 61,858 car seats to low-income families across the country. They work with local organizations to provide resources, education, and training to parents on child passenger safety. Families in need who participate in their child passenger safety classes may qualify to receive a free car seat.
Safe Kids Worldwide is an international organization committed to keeping children safe from injuries. In the United States, Safe Kids has over 400 coalitions and partners, and they offer resources on everything related to car seats, including installation and financial assistance.
Baby 2 Baby is a national organization that provides essentials to families living in poverty. In the last seven years, they have helped distribute over 50 million items to families in need. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a free car seat through one of their partner organizations.
If you’re struggling to find an affordable car seat, your local CPST is a great resource. CPSTs are constantly going through extra training and need to be informed of all car seats on the market. Many police and fire professionals are also certified CPSTs. Even if they aren’t, most police/fire departments have resources needed to help you find the right place to go.
Most insurance companies provide car seats free of charge to insured new mothers or pregnant women. Contact the insurance company (the number should be on your insurance card) and they may be able to cover the cost or provide a car seat directly.
You can also ask your local church for help, and they will be glad to get you in contact with a charity or institute that provides resources to low-income families.
Hospitals are another possible place to get car seats without any cost. They will either help you or direct you towards some great local resources.
A great source to get a free car seat is your local police station or fire department. These guys are professionally trained, and often they set up programs for the free installation of car seats. They can also help you find new car seats for free as they are familiar with various charities.
What are the car seat laws in Maryland?
In Maryland, there is a Child Passenger Safety Law that requires all children under the age of seven, who are shorter than 4’9″, to be secured in a child safety seat. All children aged eight to 16 who are not secured in a child safety seat must wear a seatbelt while in the car.
The above information should help you find free car seat programs in Maryland. If you are unable to find any free car seat programs in Maryland, try reaching out to your nearest police or fire department. Most police and fire departments have the resources needed to help you find free car seat programs in your state if one exists. Feel free to leave a comment for more information.