Highways, Ferries, and Winter Roads

Child Car Seat Safety

Always wear your seatbelt while driving and require your passengers to do the same. Proper seatbelt use includes making sure children are properly restrained in car seats. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those in your vehicle.

Child Seat Safety

Children 12 years and under should always be secured in the back seat, especially in vehicles with a passenger air bag. As these air bags are designed for an adult, they can seriously injure a child when they deploy. Here are some other tips that could save your child's life: 

  • Always use rear-facing child seats for children less than 9 kg (20 lbs) and younger than one year old. Never place a rear-facing child seat in a front passenger seat with air bags.
  • Always use forward-facing child seats for children 9 - 18 kg (20-40 lbs) and older than one year old.
  • In the winter, remove winter coats and puffy snowsuits, and use sweaters and blankets to keep your child warm. In a collision, winter coats and snowsuits can compress, making the harness loose. This could result in your child being ejected.
  • For children over 18 kg (40 lbs) and less than 36 kg (80 lb), or for children who are less than 145 cm (4 ft 9 in.), use booster seats until the seat belt and (if available) the shoulder belt fit over the shoulder and around the hips properly, without the lap belt crossing over the stomach or the shoulder belt crossing over the neck or face.
  • All booster seats require a lap and shoulder belt combination.
  • Booster seats can be no back or high back style.  Some high back have a guide on the side to adjust the seat belt so that it sits properly.
  • The child's head must be supported by the top of the booster, the vehicle's seat, or the top of the headrest.
  • Seats manufactured for sale in Canada must have a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard label or statement of compliance on the seat itself.  Check for the round sticker with the maple leaf on it.
  • Check for the expiry date.  Don't use a seat that is more than 10 years old, or one that has been involved in a collision. Use extra caution before purchasing a used seat. 

With just a little extra time, you can keep your family safer. Some common mistakes you should avoid are: 

  • Putting the child in the wrong restraint for his/her size and weight.
  • Failing to ensure the child is strapped in securely.
  • Failing to use the restraint for every trip, no matter how short. There are some collisions that are outside your control - don't let your next short trip cause you regret that will last for a lifetime.

More information on child car seat safety is available on Transport Canada's website