Updated on December 9, 2010:
Since writing the original post below, Transport Canada changed how the new car seat regulations are going to be implemented.
Car seat manufacturers will have until December 31, 2011 to fully comply with the new regulations.
This extension will “[allow] a further twelve months for the manufacturers to complete the testing, research, design and certification of their child seats. Until December 31, 2011, manufacturers will have the option of producing products that meet either the new or the old regulatory requirements. The old requirements have provided a high level of safety for children for many years and will continue to provide protection throughout the useful life of the restraints.”
The above quote is from Transport Canada’s website and you can see all the information on their site.
Originally posted November 30, 2010:
There have been a few “deal of the day” sites, selling car seat checks to see if your seat complies with the new regulations that come into effect in January 2011.
This is very confusing for many parents. But here is what it comes down to:
Any seat that hasn’t expired* is still safe as long as it is installed and used properly!!**
You do not need to get new seats starting in January 2011 just becuase the standards for new seats are changing.
* YES, car seats do expire. The date is usually embossed on the plastic on the back or bottom of the car seat
If you do buy a new seat and it’s made after January 1, 2011, it will have met the new standards set by Transport Canada.
What are these new standards?
(from Transport Canada)
- introducing a unique Canadian requirement to conduct child car seat tests by using a three-point lap/shoulder belt that has been commonly found in most vehicles for several years
- aligning Canadian standards with current testing methods to maximize the safety of kids at each stage of development
- increasing the weight limits of car seats to allow larger, heavier children to be better protected
- requiring the use of improved child-sized dummies, adopting new performance criteria and testing a new standard seat assembly
- introducing simulated crash requirements for booster cushions, similar to those currently being used to test infant and child restraint systems.
Compliance with these regulations will be optional until January 1, 2011, at which time they become mandatory for all manufacturers.
Why does there seem to be a panic and use of the word “shortage”?
Due to the fact that there is only one crash testing facility in Canada and all car seat manufacturers will need to get their current and new seats tested, there might not be enough time. Therefore, there might not be as many seats on the shelves when you go shopping for new seats in January 2011. There are several manufacturers who’s seats already fit the new standards, so those will be on the shelves already.
Please don’t panic
If you are concerned, please comment below and I will help you or get you in touch with someone who can help you make sure you are using your child restraint system (aka car seat) properly.
** Car seats MUST be replaced if it has been in a collision.