Welcome to Child Passenger Safety Week!!
This week all my posts will be about car seats, car seat installation and how you can keep you and your children safe while riding in a vehicle.
Across Canada there are various laws that regulate the use of car seats. These laws state what height, weight and age the child must be to use different types of car seats. The biggest difference between provinces is the use of booster seats. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut don’t have any laws requiring children to use a booster seat.
Canadian Car Seat Laws
Safe Kids Canada – Give em’ a boost!
Here are some general tips to know about your car seat!
- Always have the proper child seat for the height and weight of your child
- Depending on where you live in Canada, the laws are a little bit different. Please see this table for what is required in your province
- There are many different seat types:
- Infant – rear-facing only
- Infant/Child – can be used rear- and forward-facing
- Infant/Child/Booster – can be used rear-, forward-facing and as a belt postitioning booster
- Child/Booster – forward facing only; 5pt harness and belt-positing booster
- Booster – can be backless or high back
- Always read the manual for vehicle that it is being installed in.
- not all cars allow seats to be installed in all positions in the rear seats
- not all positions in a car allow for the use of the tether
- not all position in a car allow for the use of the LATCH / UAS
- the owner’s manual will state where they have designed car seats to be installed
- Be sure that your car has a tether bolt when using a forward facing seat
- Cars made after September 1999 will come with the top tether bolt
- cars made before that can have a bolt installed at a dealership
- The LATCH system has been standard in vehicles since September 2002
- you need to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if your vehicle is equiped (there are usually 2 “button” markers on the seat to show where the anchors are
- you also need to see which positions are allowed to use those anchors. Some vehicles do not allow for the center position to borrow the anchors intended to be used by the outboard positions
- You can use either the LATCH or the vehicle’s seat belt — use the one that give you the tightest fit
- The car seat should not be able to move more than 1 inch side to side at the belt path (where the LATCH or seat belt) goes through the seat
- Put your weight in the car seat when installing it (kneel in the seat) — this will push the seat into the passenger seat
- Always check the car seat every time you put your child in – you can never be too careful
- In winter time, do not put bulky winter coats on the children as this causes the seat straps to not be tight enough (during a collision the amount of pressure applied will compress a snow suit and make the straps really loose) – even though you think the seat belt straps are tight enough, they’re not.
- This also applies to 3rd party “cuddle bags” for infant seats – do not put anything behind your child between them and the car seat. The ones that just go over the car seat are much safer. (read about compression above)
- We do not recommend using second hand car seat without knowing the history of the seat.
- If a car seat has been in a collision, NEVER use it again. It MUST be replaced.
This is only the tip of the iceberg! Please ask as many questions as you can!
Also you can follow me on twitter for more car seat information: @OntCarSeatInfo
Tomorrow I’ll share info, tips and tricks about installing and using infant and rear-facing car seats.