Algoma Public Health
- Child Safety
Many people are surprised to learn that preventable injuries kill more Canadian children each year than any other disease. The good news is that we can take a few small steps to avoid these injuries and protect our children. Remember everyone has a role to play in keeping a child safe.
DID YOU KNOW:
- 4/5 children are not correctly buckled into their seats
- Misuse rates range from 44% to 81% for car seats, and 30% to 50% for booster seats
Canadian Pediatric Society, 2008
Many people are surprised to learn that preventable injuries kill more Canadian children each year than any other disease. The good news is that we can take a few small steps to avoid these injuries and protect our children. Remember, everyone has a role to play in keeping a child safe.
- Restrain children on every trip, every time.
- Keep children in the back seat until age 13.
- Use the correct safety seat for a child’s size, height, and weight.
- Do not use bulky outerwear or add after-market products (e.g. infant bunting bag) to your car seat—these are not approved by car seat manufacturers and reduce a child’s safety.
Car Seat Stages
Rear-Facing Car Seat
- Ontario law requires infants remain rear-facing up to 20 lbs (9 kg).
- This is a minimum requirement. Your child must always be rear-facing until they are at least one year old and able to walk without help. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limit.
- At this stage, there are two designs of car seats- rear-facing only and convertible seats, which are larger.
Forward-Facing Car Seat
- Ontario law requires infants remain forward-facing up to 40 lbs (18 kg).
- This is a minimum requirement. It’s best to keep your child forward-facing until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limit.
- Ontario Law requires children use a booster seat if they are:
- Under 8 years of age AND
- Weigh between 40-80 lbs. (18-36 kg) AND
- Less than 4 ft. 9 inches (145 cm) tall
- Booster seats help to keep the vehicle's seat belt in the correct position across a child's shoulder, middle of the chest, and over the hips.
- To be worn by children ages 8 or older, over 80 lbs (36 kg), OR over 4 ft. 9 inches (145 cm) tall
- Lap belt must lie across the child’s upper thighs; torso belt lie across their chest; knees bent at the seat’s edge; and they remain seated in this position the entire ride.
- Most children are 10-12 years old before they can safely use the adult seat belt
Car seats and booster seats must be purchased in Canada and show the National Safety Mark for use in Canada. It is illegal to use a car seat or booster seat purchased from another country (e.g., the U.S.) Look for this symbol to know it has been approved for use in Canada:
Note: The law is always the minimum requirement.
Car Seat Inspection Clinic
Along with community partners, Algoma Public Health is proud to offer a car seat clinic with trained child passenger safety technicians who will check how your child’s car seat is installed in your vehicle, help you correct any errors that might be found, and provide instructions on correctly using the seat.
Parents, grandparents, and caregivers are welcome.
Clinic times and dates for this free clinic vary.
Register to have your car seat inspected by calling the Parent Child Information Line at 705-541-7101 or toll-free at 1-888-537-5741.
For quick tips about car seat safety and information about our inspection clinic, watch below:
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: April 13, 2018