Mississippi State Department of Health

Child Passenger Safety Seats


Child car seats protect children from birth to their early teens against death and injury.

Does your child need a car seat or booster seat?

We provide free infant or convertible child car seats to all eligible Mississippi children. See whether you qualify by using our assessment form below.

What you'll need to check for eligibility:

  • Your Mississippi driver’s license or state I.D.
  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Court paperwork if you are a guardian or foster parent
  • Your child’s most recent weight and height

Safe Seating

How Old?

The age of your child doesn't matter when selecting the safest car seat. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that you use seats in this order as long as they fit:

Which Seat?


Rear-facing only seats and rear-facing convertible seats

All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer. For most seats, this will be at least until age 2. Rear-facing seats are the safest type for a child.



Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses

Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for his convertible car seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. These seats keep children safer than booster seats.


School-Aged Children

Booster Seats

All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly. Children will typically need to be at least 4 feet 9 inches in height to ride without a booster seat.


Older Children

Seat belts

When children are old enough and large enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them correctly, they should always use lap and shoulder Seat Belts for optimal protection.

All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles.

Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Stay Secure

Always use the correct child restraint system. Never use pillows, books or towels to boost a child. Doing so can compromise your child's safety.

Find out more


More Information

Links referenced on this page
Check for car seat eligibility    https://apps.msdh.ms.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=CEHMKXMYNFKKDNLP
Full recommendations    http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx
American Academy of Pediatrics    http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

Resources referenced

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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