For a child to get the best protection from the car seat:
• It must be the right seat for the age, height and weight of the child
• It must be properly secured in the vehicle.
• The child must be properly harnessed into the car seat.
The Ontario law states that drivers must make sure that their passengers under 16 years of age are secured properly in a child car seat, or by seat belt. The back seat is the safest place for children who require a car seat. Children should not sit in the front seat until that are at least 13 years of age.
Here at the Porcupine Health unit, we know that installing and using a child car seat is not always easy. Below is some useful information that can help guide you.
For tips on choosing, installing, and checking that a child meets safety standards, see the Ontario Government video Car Seat Safety on YouTube.
Before trying to install a seat, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle’s owners manual. This will help save you time and frustration and help make sure the seat is installed correctly and safety.
To determine if there has been a recall on your car seat type before installing, see the Government of Canada website for Car Seat Recalls.
Note: All car seats must be tested to meet government safety standards in order to be sold in Canada. Buying a car seat in Canada will ensure that it meets Canadian safety standards set by Transport Canada. Look for the National Safety Mark: it is proof that the car seat meets Canadian Safety Standards
Our neighbouring health unit, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has created the following videos with quick car seat installation tips:
For tips on selecting the right seat for your child, see the video from Parachute Is your child in the right seat on YouTube.
Parachute, a national charity dedicated to injury prevention, provides the following recommendations for the different stages of car seats.
For more information about forward-facing seats, see How to use your child’s forward-facing seat on the Parachute Canada website.
For more information about booster seats, see How to use your child’s booster seat on the Parachute Canada website.
Until your child can meet all five steps, keep using a booster seat.
For more information about seat belts, see How your child’s seat belt should fit on the Parachute Canada website.
Did you know that it is not recommended to use a used car seat as you will not know the history of the car seat, including whether it’s been damaged or recalled.
However, if you decide to use a used car seat, consider these important factors:
If a car seat has past the expiration date, do not use the car seat as it is no longer safe to use. Instead, discard the car seat by cutting the harness straps and tearing the fabric to ensure it is no longer useable.
Transport Canada recommends that children be properly restrained in the correct car seat for their height and weight. The school bus must have lower anchorage systems in place and tether straps for those who require them.
Transport Canada recommends that young children ride in a car seat when travelling by airplane. However, no Canadian laws require the use of car seats on airplanes. If you wish for your child to ride in a car seat on a flight, call the air line to determine if the car seat model will fit properly and follow their instructions.
Even though it may not be required by law, we recommend using an appropriate car seat when traveling by taxi.
Our team is available by telephone at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 and by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions and troubleshoot any difficulties you may be having with installing or using your car seat.