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Choosing car sear for infants under 9kg (20lbs)
If your child weighs less than 9 kg, you must use an infant seat which can be rented, borrowed or purchased or a convertible seat. Infant seats are lighter so you can carry the baby around in the seat.
Always Position the safety seat used for an infant so the baby faces the back of the vehicle.

During a sudden stop, the force is spread evenly across the baby's whole body, pushing the baby against the padded back of the seat. If thrown forward, a baby's neck and back muscles are not strong enough to withstand these forces. As well, the boy's head could be thrown forward and the brain damaged by bumping against the skull.

If your baby cannot hold his or her head up, use a 'head hugger' (available from stores) or roll some towels and place them on either side of your infant Tighten the harness straps snugly over the shoulders and fasten them securely with the buckle. To keep the baby's head in an upright position, you may need to level the seat by placing a rolled towel beneath the safety seat, just under the baby's feet. Do not let the seat tip backwards, as this will not be safe for the child.

For a small newborn, put a rolled cloth between the buckle and the baby's crotch to push the baby back into the crease of the seat. Do not bundle the baby in a blanket before placing him or her in the seat as this lessens the effectiveness of the straps. Always put the blanket on over the straps.

  • Place the forward facing child seat in the rear seat of the vehicle - the "Kid Zone." Insert the seat belt through the back of the child frame and out the other side. Secure it tightly.
  • Locate the tether strap anchor (on the shelf behind the seat, on the floor, or on the vehicle frame). Attach and tighten the tether strap.
  • If your vehicle does not have a tether strap anchor, have one installed according to the vehicle manufacturer's instruction.
  • Secure your child in the child seat and adjust the shoulder harness for best fit, making sure it's snug
  • Make sure you use the tether strap.
  • Read the instruction booklet that comes with the child seat. Keep it handy so you can refer to it as your child grows.
  • Don't rush to move your child from a child seat to a booster seat.
Safety Regulation
All infant, child and booster seats sold in Canada, regardless of their price, must meet Transport Canada's safety regulations. These regulations help protect children in a sudden stop or collision. The regulations also require safe materials, instruction booklets and a National Safety Mark on the seat like the one pictured here:
Safety-Related Defects
If you suspect that, your infant seat, child seat or booster seat has a defect that might affect safety, contact Transport Canada and ask for a "Child Restraint System Complaint Form." Transport Canada investigates complaints received on these forms.
Shopping Checklist
  • Does the seat have a National Safety Mark (pictured on page 10)?
    Is there an instruction booklet?
  • Is the seat appropriate for the weight and height of your child?
  • If the seat has an expired date, will the time period cover your needs?
  • Can the seat be installed correctly in your vehicle?
  • Are the harness and tether straps easy to adjust?
Remember to fill out the registration card that comes with your new seat, so the manufacturer can contact you for any recalls.

Used Car Seats

CAUTION: Buying a used seat can be risky! Used seats are often missing parts and/or instructions. Also, it's hard to know if there is a recall on a used seat.
Never use a seat more than 10 years old because materials deteriorate with age. And never buy or re-use a seat that been in a collision.
Important Reminders
  • Seat belts and child safety seats must be used correctly to reduce injuries and prevent death.
  • Do not leave groceries, parcels, hard toys and other solid objects loose in the vehicle. In a crash, they could be thrown around and injure people. Place them in the trunk.
  • Carry only as many people in the car as there are seat belts or child. Safety seats available. Never allow two people to ' share a belt. In a. sudden stop, the belt can pull the two bodies toward each other, causing possible internal damage and head injuries.
  • It is the law to use a child safety seat or seat belt, and the law requires that they be used correctly. The law also holds the driver responsible for everyone in the vehicle under 16 years of age. The driver can be fined for not *making sure young passengers are buckled up.
  • It will cost you two (2) demerit points and a $90 fine plus $15 surcharge, if you or your children under the age of 16 are not buckled up.
For a detailed brochure on seat belts called What You Should Know About Seat Belts contact the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) at 1 800 268 4 MTO (1 800 268 4686) or (416) 235 4 MTO (416).235 4686. Detailed information about child safety seats or seat belts is also available from your local MTO office or the Canadian Automobile Association at 1 800 268 3750 or (905) 771 3170.
Questions and answers on seat belt legislation in Ontario
What do I do if there are not enough seat belts for the number of passengers I want to carry in my vehicle, i.e. ear pooling or taking a group of children out?
Remember, you are taking a huge risk by having people in a vehicle without the benefit of seat belts. At all times, try to limit the number of occupants in your vehicle to the number of seat belts. All available seat belts in the vehicle must be used.
If I have too many people in the vehicle, may I buckle up more than one person in a belt?
This is a definite No! The seat belt is made far one person only. If more than one person is buckled up in a seat belt, the bodies can be crushed and the heads banged together, and the heavier body can seriously injure the lighter one.
The seat belts in my car do not work properly. Must I have them repaired?
Yes, absolutely. They must be well maintained at all times. In fact, you can be fined for having a broken seat belt even if it is not being used or required at the time you are stopped by the police officer.
When I am traveling in a taxi, must I wear a seat belt and must my child be restrained in a child safety seat?
You must wear a seat belt and in fact, you could be fined for not buckling up. It is the taxi owner's responsibility to ensure that the seat belt is available and in good working order. The law does not require the taxi owner to provide a child safety seat so it is advisable to travel with your own seat.
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