Fire and Burn Safety

  • Smoke Detectors
    C 148 Sec 26E requires approved smoke detectors to be installed on every floor of a residence, and other locations as required by the MA Building Code
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    C148 Sec 26 F.5 requires approved carbon monoxide detectors to be installed on every floor of a residence; mandates inspection at time of sale for compliance
  • Novelty Lighters
    C148 Sec 60 prohibits the sale of novelty lighters (e.g., lighters that resemble cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches or those that have other physical or audible features that might make them appealing to children under aged 10 years)
  • Fireworks
    C148 sec 16 prevents the storage, use, handling, selling or disposal of fireworks and explosives

Swimming, Water Recreation

  • Christian's Law
    C111 Sec. 127A.5
    Christian's Law: requires all children's' camps, municipal and recreational programs offering swimming programs in natural bodies of water to make available Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices for non-swimmers and at-risk swimmers; also requires a swimming evaluation of all minors at the first swim session.
  • Children, Boating, Personal Flotation Devices
    323 Code of MA Regulations section 2.07 requires that any person under 12 years of age, aboard and above deck on any vessel underway on the waters of the Commonwealth must wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device; also requires any person aboard a canoe or kayak between January 1 to May 15 and between September 15 to December 31 to at all times wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. (exceptions include sanctioned, competitive racing
  • Personal Flotation Devices, all ages
    323 2.07(10) Canoeing or Kayaking. Any person aboard a canoe or kayak between January 1 to May 15 and between September 15 to December31 shall wear at all times a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device of Type I, II, or III except persons aboard vessels excluded by M.G.L. c. 90B,§ 5A.

Infants and Young Children

  • Baby Safe Haven
    Baby Safe Haven law permits parents to legally surrender an infant 7 days old or younger at a hospital, police station or manned fire station without fear of criminal prosecution.
  • Shaken Baby Prevention
    C11Sec24L requires that the parents or guardians of all newborns receive materials, prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center, that provide information about the medical and physical effects of shaking an infant or child, appropriate methods of handling infants or children, and the availability of community-based resources to prevent shaken baby syndrome.
  • Transporting young children on bicycles, no infants on bicycles
    C85 Section 11B2(ii) children age 1-4 or weighing 40 lbs or less may only be transported on a bicycle that is equipped with a 'baby seat' containing a harness to secure the child; children of this age/weight group may be transported on a tandem bicycle provided the child's seat has been adjusted to allow the child to reach the handlebars and pedals; infants under 1 year of age may not be transported on bicycles.

Recreational Vehicles and Minors

  • Helmet Law
    Any child 16 years of age or younger operating or riding as a passenger on bicycle, scooter, in-line skates, skateboard or other manually propelled vehicle on a public way, bike path or on any other public right-of-way must wear an approved helmet.
  • Sean’s Law (ATV)
    C90B Sec26: no one under age 14 may operate an all-terrain vehicle or recreation utility vehicle except in preparation for or participation in a sanctioned race. Prohibits persons between 14 and 16 years of age from operating an ATV with an engine capacity of more than 90 cubic centimeters. Requires anyone operating, riding on or being towed by a recreation vehicle or snow vehicle to wear an approved helmet
  • ATV safety course restrictions for minors
    C90B Sec 21 requires anyone under the age of 18 to complete a recreation vehicle (e.g., ATV) safety course; a parent is required to attend at least one training session. Proof of successful completion must be carried on the operator's person while using the recreation vehicle.
  • Motorboat operation by minors
    323CMR2.08 Safety Certificate. Any person of at least 12 years of age and less than 16 years of age shall satisfactorily complete a training course in boating safety approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.


  • Passenger Restraints
    Massachusetts Safety Belt Law (MGL Ch 90, Sec. 13A)
    Any driver or passenger, age 12 and older, wear a seat belt in any motor vehicle, whether in the front or back seat of a car.
  • Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Law (MGL Ch 90, Sec. 7AA).
    When riding in motor vehicles, infants and small children must ride in a federally approved child passenger restraint until they are at least 5 years old and weigh more than 40 pounds; Children under 8 years old or under 4'9" must use a booster seat.
  • Texting while Driving
    C90 Section 13b prohibits the operator of a motor vehicle from composing, sending or reading of any electronic messages ('texts'), unless the vehicle is stationary and not located in the 'travel' area of any public way.
  • Teen Operators: Cellphones and driving
    C90 Sec 8M prohibits any motor vehicle operator under the age of 18 from using a mobile telephone, hands-free mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle on a public way.
  • Massachusetts Graduated Licensing Law
    For more information on the Junior Operator License, refer to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles page about Junior Operators at

Sports Related Head Injuries

  • Head Injury Safety Program Law
    Chapter 166, Section 222 required Division of Violence and Injury Prevention at Mass. Department of Public Health to develop an interscholastic athletic head injury training program for all public schools and other schools subject to the MIAA rules.

This information is provided by the Injury Prevention and Control Program within the Department of Public Health.