Precautions on car seats Expand

How to choose a car seat ?


Choosing a car seat
Four stages of car safetyYour child's stage of growth and development determines which type of car restraint is right for him or her:

More details

** Sources: and Transport Canada **

Stage 1:

For the youngest children, rear-facing seats are designed to be at a 45-degree angle so that your baby's head is supported, making it easier for him or her to breathe. A snug harness will keep your baby safe in a sudden stop. The seat itself protects your child from the forces of the crash.

Stage 2:

Forward-facing seats are made to spread the force of a crash evenly over the strongest parts of your growing child's body: shoulders, chest and hips. The harness straps are narrower than vehicle seat belt straps and fit children's small shoulders. In a crash, the seat and harness work together and bring your child to a "controlled stop" with less chance of being hurt. It is important to correctly attach the tether strap.

Stage 3:

Booster seats help the seat belt stay in place and protect your child if you have a crash.

Stage 4:

Seat belts keep older children and adults from being thrown around inside or out of the car during a sudden stop or crash.

Which stage should you use?

This chart shows the weight range of children for all four stages. All child seats are different so make sure you read the label carefully to ensure the child fits the seat before you buy it.

Figure 1: It is safest to keep your child in each stage for as long as possible

This chart shows the weight range of children recommended for all four Car Time Stages based on child seats and booster seats sold in stores today.Figure 1 description

When buying a children's car seat or booster seat

  • Use the chart to find the stage the child is at and the type of car seat needed
  • Make sure the child fits the weight and height limits of the seat you are considering
  • Test to make sure the child fits in the seat - place him or her in the seat and make sure it's comfortable
  • Test to make sure the car seat can be installed properly in your vehicle
  • Send in the product registration card after you buy the child seat

Important child car seat tips

Here are some key things to remember when it comes to children's safety in your vehicle:

  • Don't rush to move a child from one stage to the next. As long as he or she is still in the right weight and height range of the seat itself, it is safer to use the current children's car seat.
  • Some children's car seats can be used for more than one stage. Check your children's car seat user guide for details about this and to make sure you are using it correctly.
  • By law, children must be buckled up in a schildren's car seat appropriate to their size and weight. Check your provincial/territorial laws for details. You can find out how to contact your provincial/territorial government using the Information Links on the Transport Canada website.
  • The safest place for children 12 and under is the back seat of your car, in the right restraint.
  • Never leave a baby unattended in his or her infant car seat when in or outside of your vehicle. Many seats can tip over easily when your baby moves. Always put an infant car seat on the floor - not on a table or chair - and make sure nothing around it can fall on the baby. An infant car seat should never be used as a crib.
  • Be careful about accessories. Items not provided by the car seat manufacturer such as liners, trays and comfort straps may interfere with the safety of the seat. Check the manufacturer's instructions before adding accessories.
  • Replace the seat. You should replace the seat if it is past its expiry date, has been in a collision, is worn or no longer meets the specifications of the child's size.


** Sources: and Transport Canada **