Car Seat Safety

Suggestions/Recommendations of good practice regarding your Infant/Child/Booster Seat Restraint System.

Projectiles

Practice keeping a clean vehicle and avoid any items that could become projectiles in the vehicle in the event of a collision. Examples include but are not limited to: Kleenex boxes, toys, tools, window shades, etc....... (Any items that area loose in the vehicle and may start moving around during a collision should be avoided, as they can present very serious hazards)

Infant

Most infant restraint systems go up to (between) 22 and 30lbs. We recommend that the parent keeps their child rear facing until the maximum weight indicated on the infant child's restraint system. Most Infant Child Restraint Systems (CRS) come with a canopy and carrying handle. We recommend that the handle be placed at the back, on the lowest level possible and the canopy folded back. Some manufacturers will recommend otherwise and you should follow their guidelines.

Rear Facing I/C, I/C/B

We recommend children remain rear facing until they are 2 years of age, a minimum of 22LBS and walking, before we graduate them to a forward facing seat. Recent testing in the US has prompted the Canadian Medical Association to recommend children remain in a rear facing position until they are 2 years of age and 30 - 35 LBS.  http://www.cmaj.ca/content/183/9/1049/suppl/DC1  

WHEN THE CRS IS REAR FACING, THERE SHOULD BE MINIMUM OF 1 INCH GAP BETWEEN THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT AND THE CRS WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO PASS YOUR HAND FREELY BETWEEN THE TWO SEATS.

Booster Seat

Once the child has outgrown their Child Restraint System harness, has reached 40LBS and is 4' 9'', they may go into a booster seat, providing the seatbelt sits at the correct spot across the child's chest.

Seatbelt
Once the child has reached 80LBS, and is over 4' 9'', they may graduate to a Seatbelt position providing the seatbelt sits at the correct spot across the child's chest.
Winter Clothing
With the cold weather, parents are tempted to put more clothing on children. This practice is not recommended because the extra clothing increases the gap between the CRS Harness and the child's torso thus compromising safety and effectiveness of the harness system.

 * Please note that the above information is a RECOMMENDATION ONLY and is NOT MANDATORY. We advise you follow these RECOMMENDATIONS in addition to referring back to you vehicle and CRS owner's manual for further details. *

**** For specific information regarding you particular Infant/Child Restraint System (CRS), please contact your manufacturer who will be able to answer any questions pertaining to your CRS restraint system. ****

You may also refer to the following websites for more information:

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/  

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/menu.htm  

Related Websites

MTO - Child Car Seats

MTO - Driver Handbook - Child Car Seats

Transport Canada - Child Car Seat Certification and Compliance

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