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Choosing Car Seat for children over 18 kg (40 lbs.)
If your toddler's head is more than halfway above the top of the child safety seat, or if he or she weighs more than 18 kg (40 lbs.), Your child has outgrown the convertible seat. A warning:
Never rush this process. A safety seat is by far the safest way for a child to travel. Most children will need to remain in their seats until they are at least four years old.

Before your child graduates to a seat belt, a booster car seat could be used. Booster seats are designed to position the lap belt in the proper place while raising your child high enough to look out the window. Booster seats are not a substitute for child safety seats and should not be used until a child is more than 18 kg (40 lbs.).

Never use household booster seats -- or anything else, such as a briefcase or phone book -- to elevate your child in his or her seat as this is very dangerous.

A child has outgrown the booster seat when his or her head is no longer protected by the back of the vehicle seat or headrest.

Once your child has outgrown his or her child safety seat or booster seat, it's time to use a lap belt. It is vitally important that the lap belt be snug against the body, preventing any unnecessary movement . The lap belt should be fitted low across your child's hips, below the stomach, allowing the spine complete flexibility (you can check this flexibility by ensuring your child can bend over and touch his or her nose to the knees). Improper use of a seat belt can result in serious internal injuries or even death.

A full seat belt assembly (both lap and shoulder strap) can be used provided the shoulder harness lies flat across your child's shoulder and not against the face and neck. If the shoulder harness crosses the face and neck, consider using a high-back booster. Never place the shoulder harness behind the child's back or under the arm.

  • Place the booster seat in the rear seat of the vehicle - the "Kid Zone."
  • Using the vehicle seat belt buckle your child in properly, with the lap belt low and sung over the hips and the Shoulder belt across the chest.
  • Buckle an empty booster seat into place or remove it from the vehicle. You don't want it to fly around dangerously in sudden stop or collision.
  • Never tuck the shoulder belt behind the child or under the arm. Doing so could result in serious injury or death.
  • Don't rush to move your child from a child seat to a booster seat to a vehicle seat belt.
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.
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