Mother strapping her baby in a car seat.
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Is Your Car Seat Properly Installed?

Atlantic Canada’s picturesque landscapes and scenic routes offer endless opportunities for family adventures, but safety should always remain a top priority. Motor vehicle accidents are a significant concern in the region and ensuring that every child is securely fastened in their car seat can greatly reduce the risk of injury or tragedy.

Motor vehicle accidents are, unfortunately, the number one cause of death in children under the age of 14 in Canada. Car seats reduce fatality by 71%, however; if installed incorrectly car seats don’t prevent damages as well as they could in a car accident.

Is Your Car Seat Properly Installed?

Here are 10 tips to make sure your car seat is properly installed to protect your little one.

1. Choose the right car seat for your child’s height, weight, and development stage. Follow the chart below to see what sear your child should be using.

Type of Car Seat
Age, Weight, Height
Rear Facing Car SeatUnder 1 year Old
Less Than 10kg (22lbs)
Forward Facing Car SeatOver 1 Year Old
Between 10kg (22lbs) & 18kg (40lbs)
Booster SeatUnder 9 Years Old
Over 18kg (40lbs)
Under 145cm (4’9″)
Adult Seat BeltOver 9 Years Old
Over 36kg (80lbs)
Over 145cm (4’9″)

2. Car seats have an expiry date. Do not use a seat that has been in a crash, r for which you do not know the history.

3. The middle seat of the row is safest. If you have more than one child, or a car without a row, as long as they’re sitting in the backseat, they are safer than in the front.

4. Make sure the seat is installed securely. Test it by grabbing the base of the seat at the belt path and give it a firm shake. You do not want to be able to move the seat more than an inch from front to back, or side to side.

5. Make sure your child is harnessed in correctly. The harness should be flat with the chest clip at armpit level.

6. Keep your child rear facing for as long as possible. It’s the safest position for your child’s it protects their head and neck.

7. Do not rush to move your child to the next stage. As long as they meet the requirements, there is no harm in staying with the same type of car seats.

8. Don’t rush your child from booster seat to seatbelt. The booster seat allows the seatbelt to sit on the proper spots of a growing child. Children should not move into a seatbelt until they are at least 145cm (4’9″).

9. Children under 12 should stay in the back seat.

10. Read the car manual, and the car sear manual to ensure that your car seat and child will be properly fastened.

Ensuring that your car seat is properly installed is a critical step in safeguarding the well-being of your precious passengers during every car journey. By following car seat safety guidelines and staying informed about regional regulations, you can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and protect your loved ones from potential harm in the event of an accident.

Remember, car seat safety is not a one-time check; it requires regular inspections and adjustments as your child grows. Taking the time to understand the proper installation techniques and age-appropriate car seats can make all the difference in promoting a safer driving experience for your family.

At the end of the day, the responsibility of protecting our little ones rests in our hands. Let’s join hands in spreading awareness about car seat safety and share this vital information with our communities. By prioritizing car seat safety and staying informed, we can create a safer road environment for our children, making each car ride a worry-free and secure journey. Together, let’s make car seat safety a top priority and ensure that every child is safely buckled up for life’s adventures on the road.

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