Why is riding rear-facing the safest?

Children placed in the rear-facing position are 5 times safer in the event of a frontal collision. Frontal collisions are the most common and pose the largest threat; rear-facing seats are designed to absorb the energy after the forces have been spread across the infant’s back, which is the strongest part of their body. Many newer seats have a higher weight and height limit for rear-facing capabilities.

When do I move my baby into a forward-facing?

Since rear-facing is the safest, it is best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. For forward-facing, your child should be a minimum of 22lbs, 1 years of age and should be able to walk unassisted before being in a forward-facing car seat. Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations for height and weight requirements.

What are LATCH, UAS, and ISOFIX?

Vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2002 use a new standardized system that makes installing child car seats easier. Different manufacturers use different names for this system but they all work identically:ISOFIX ● LATCH (Lower Anchorages and Tethers for Children) ● UAS (Universal Anchorage System)

The car seat is loose, should I use both the seat belt and the Latch system?

A correctly installed car seat should not move more than 1 inch (2cm). If your car is equipped with UAS/LATCH, use it. If your car is an older model or if the UAS/LATCH interferes with the car seat, you can use the seat belt to install the car seat. Never use both, unless it specifically mentioned to do so by your car seat manufacturer at the moment only the clek brand allows for use of both at the same time.

Note: Using the seat belt properly to install a car seat will offer the same protection as the UAS or LATCH system.

Can I use the car seat that I bought outside Canada?

No. These seats do not meet Canadian requirements; they are tested to meet different requirements. All seats that are legal for use in Canada MUST have a CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) sticker visible on the seat itself. By using a child restraint device that does not have this sticker, you are fully responsible for your child’s safety in the case of an injury.

Why does a car seat expire?

And how do I know if my car seat is expired? All car seats have an expiry date. Over time with exposure to sunlight and usage the plastic weakens and cannot provide its optimal performance. Most seats are good for 5-9 years, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. You can also check on our Resources page to see when your seat expires.

What is the best car seat to buy?

All car seats sold in Canada have passed the Canadian motor vehicle standards for safety. Purchase one that: ● Fits your child ● Fits your vehicle ● Fits your budget Our professional technicians can help you!

Should I buy a used car seat?

We recommend buying new car seats whenever possible. However, if you choose to get a used car seat, for your child safety please ensure that:

● The seat has never been in a crash with or without a child.

● All pieces (tethers, harnesses, locking clip etc) are available with the seat.

● Manufacturer’s instruction manual is available.

● Seat is legal for use in Canada. Look for the “CMVSS Approved” label.

● Seat is not recalled by Transport Canada.

● Seat has not expired.

● It is still in good condition and it is not worn or frayed.

My car was involved in a crash. The car seat looks fine; should I get a new child seat?

Yes, after a collision the car seat should be replaced whether it was occupied or not. It is impossible to determine if the seat has sustained any stress damage, it must be replaced. Most insurance companies will compensate you for replacing the car seat

How can I find out if my child’s car seat is recalled?

Transport Canada keeps an updated list of all recalls and public notices dealing with child restraints. You can log on to their website. You will need to know the make and model of your car seat, the model number, and the date of manufacture (this information can be found on the seat).

The harness straps of the car seat are twisted, is that okay?

No. The harness straps should lie flat against the child’s body and be snug; this gives it more area to restrain the child in a crash. Having the strap twisted could result in belt burns or even more serious injuries.

What if my child’s feet are touching the vehicle seat when they are rear facing?

It is perfectly normal for your child feet to touch the back of the vehicle seat, and this will happen with most children. Parents often mistaken the childs feet touching as an indicator for turning the child forward facing, however if the child is still under the maximum weight, height allowed by their car seat for rear facing we encourage parents to keep them rear facing because it is 5 times safer then forward facing.    

My baby weighs more than 22lbs, is not 1 years old yet, and out grew her infant seat. Can I turn her forward-facing?

No, your child should still be kept rear-facing because their bones have not yet developed enough to be facing forward yet. This is very common, you can search for a car seat that allows for a heavy weight such as a convertible seat or a different infant- only seat. Check our “What Seat Should I Use?” page for help.

My child is 7 years old and 25 kg (55 lbs). Do I still have to use a booster seat?

A child under the age of 8, weighing 40 lbs or more but less than 80lbs and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall needs to use a booster seat. A child cannot be expected to fit an adult seat belt system. For your child’s safety, keep him/her in a booster seat until they reach at least 8 years of age.

Which position in the vehicle is the safest for my child?

The middle back seat in a vehicle. The safest zone is as far away as possible from the point of impact in a frontal collision. Unfortunately, in some vehicles, it is next to impossible to install the car seat in the middle. In this case it is safer to install the car seat behind the front passenger seat.

I’m only going around the corner to the store; do I still need to put my child in his car seat for such a short trip?

Most definitely! Most car accidents occur at slower speeds in urban areas, and car cashes do happen very close to home.

What if my baby is born prematurely?

Car seats for very tiny infants do exist; they are specialized restraints such as a car bed. The weight starts at approximately 4lbs. In Canada, these are only prescribed through your pediatrician.

My child’s car seat is installed tightly, will it damage the leather seats in my vehicle. What can I do?

Unfortunately, a good installation does put pressure on your vehicle’s interior fabrics. It seems much worse on leather. You can place a thin towel or a shelf liner, but you must make sure they do not interfere with the install. There are also car seat protectors available that you can use. You can purchase them when getting your car seat installed or at most baby stores.

What if my car has air bags?

When used with seat belts, air bags are designed to protect adults. Children shouldn’t be leaning against a side air bag; if it inflates they are at risk of serious injury but children will not be at any added risk as long as they are in a correctly installed car seat that is placed in the allocated spot as instructed by the vehicle manufacturer.

Air Bag Deactivating Program is offered by Transport Canada in which consumers can choose to have their airbags deactivated, if they fall under higher risk exceptions such as:

● Your child has disabilities.

● Your pediatrician recommends constant supervision of your child during travel and no other adult is available to ride in the back seat with your child. For more information speak to your pediatrician or contact Transport Canada (www.tc.gc.ca)