Car seats are designed to keep children safe in a car ride when properly installed. According to the 2015 Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision statistics, there were 2,317 accidental fatalities and injuries in the 0 – 4 years age group.
Four out of five car seats are not properly installed
Most common mistakes:
- Vehicle seat belt is not tight enough to secure car seat properly.
- Harness or shoulder straps are too loose.
- Tether strap is not used or used incorrectly.
- Locking clip is not used when required.
- Car seat is not right for the child’s weight and height.
Find the Right Car Seat for Your Child:
- ‘Infant-only’ car seats are rear-facing and are used from birth to 10 kg (22 lbs).
- ‘Infant/child’ (convertible) car seats can be used as rear-facing or forward-facing and are for children from birth up to 20 kg (45 lbs).
- Minimum requirement by law to use a forward-facing car seat: child is over one years old, over 10 kg (22 lbs) and walking unassisted.
- Use booster seat when child is 18-36 kg (40-80 lbs).
More information about types of car seats and installation.
Heat and Car Safety
Remember, the temperature inside a car can heat up quickly creating an environment that could seriously harm or even kill a child.
Check to make sure that all children leave the vehicle when you arrive at your destination. Don’t overlook sleeping infants and young children.
More Safety Tips
- Check that the seat is approved for use in Canada with the National Safety Mark attached.
- Check the expiry date. If not found on the seat, call the manufacturer to get the expiry date for your model.
- Do not use a seat that has been in a crash or one that you do not know the history.
- Use precaution when considering a used car seat.
- Apply no-accessories rule at all times. Items such as blankets, baby mirrors, head support pillows, and sun shades around the car seat could become projectiles and cause harm in an accident.
- Never skip using the car or booster seat, or not buckling the harness even for one short trip. The law in Ontario requires anyone transporting children to correctly secure them in an appropriate infant, child or booster seat. It is not safe carrying a baby in your arms when travelling in a car.
Looking for a car seat inspection?
Check out the OPP car seat clinic schedule or the Child Safety Seat Coalition website.
Questions about your child and car safety? Connect with one of our health professionals for more information (416) 338-7600.