To keep children safe in vehicles, parents and other caregivers need to stay up-to-date on the latest information for car seats, booster seats and seat belts.
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in Canadian children (Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC)).
Make sure children are always buckled up properly while in the car, even for short trips. Remember, the back seat is always the safest place for your children.
STAGE 1: Rear-Facing Seats:
Babies have weak neck and back muscles. Their necks need extra support while in a car. A rear-facing infant seat will support your baby’s neck in a sudden stop or crash. Some child car seats can be used for more than one stage of your child’s development.
STAGE 2: Forward-Facing Seats:
Forward-facing seats are for older children with stronger back and neck muscles. As long as your child fits within the weight and height ranges of his or her rear-facing seat, it is best to use that seat for as long as possible.
STAGE 3: Booster Seats:
Don’t hurry to move your child to a booster seat. Your child must weigh at least 18kg (40lbs) and meet the height guidelines in your booster seat user guide. As long as your child still fits within the weight and height ranges for his or her forward-facing seat, it is safest to use that seat as long as possible.
STAGE 4: Seat Belts:
Don’t hurry. It is best to keep your child in a booster seat as long as possible. Once he or she has outgrown a booster seat, you must make sure that the seat belt fits correctly.
All vehicles and child passenger seat restraints are different, so consult the vehicle owner’s manual and your car seat instruction manual for proper installation and fit.