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Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child need a different seat or should I forward-face if his feet are touching the vehicle seat?

Feet touching the back of vehicle seat is normal and parents often think that their child is uncomfortable. Children are quite flexible and will bend at the knees or dangle their legs off to the sides of the car seat if they are uncomfortable. A child can be at risk of head or spinal cord injury if turned forward-facing prematurely.

Why is rear-facing the best position for a baby and for how long?

Children are five times safer riding in a rear-facing car seat up to 24 months of age according to new research. In a frontal collision, the crash forces are spread across the baby's back and the energy is absorbed by the car seat. Many new seats on the market have a higher weight and height limit for rear-facing.

What is LATCH(UAS)?

LATCH (Lower Anchorages and Tethers for Children) is a new standardized system that makes installing child car seats much easier to use. Latch is required in vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2002. Also referred as Universal Anchorage System(UAS) or ISOFIX.

Is the LATCH(UAS) system safer to use than the seatbelt?

No, using the seat belt properly to install a car seat in vehicle protects your child as well as the LATCH system does. Car seats MUST be installed with either the seat belt or the LATCH(UAS). (NOT BOTH)

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

The “Kid Zone” simply means the rear seating area of a vehicle, which means the back seat in a passenger car, SUV or light truck and either the second or third row in a mini van and some SUV's. The kids zone is as far away as possible from the point of impact in a frontal collision.

Should I replace child safety seat after collision?

Yes, after a collision the car seat should be replaced whether it was occupied or not. The owner should contact the manufacturer for further information and instructions.

What about using a used car seat?

Used car seats present a problem in that their history may not be known. If the history is not known, the restraint may have been in a crash.

When does a child safety seat expire?

Manufacturer Brand Name(s) Product Type1 Useful Life
Baby Trend Inc. Baby Trend I 6 years
Britax Child Safety, Inc. Britax I, I/C, B 6 years
Britax C/B 9 years
Canadian Tire Corp. Apramo B 9 years
Chicco USA, Inc. Chicco I 6 years
Combi USA, Inc. Combi I, B 7 years
Dorel Juvenile Group Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st I, I/C, C/B, B 6 years
Maxi Cosi I, B 6 years
Quinny, Lux I 6 years
Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st I/C/B 8 years
Evenflo Company Inc. Evenflo I, I/C, C/B, B 6 years
Evenflo I/C/B 8 years
Graco Children’s Products Graco I, I/C, C/B, B 6 years
Nautilus (low back booster only) B 9 years
Harmony Juvenile Products Harmony B 6 years
Learning Curve Brands, Inc. First Years, Compass I, I/C, B 7 years
Magna Aftermarket Inc./ CLEK Inc. CLEK B 7 years
Orbit Baby Inc. Orbit Baby I 7 years
Peg-Pérego S.p.A. Peg-Pérego I 5 years
All seats manufactured after 01/01/2011 I 7 years
Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products Sunshine Kids I/C 8 years
Sunshine Kids B 6 years
Note 1: I = Infant; I/C = Infant and Child; B = Booster; C/B = Child and Booster; I/C/B = Infant, Child and Booster

Transport Canada: 1-800-333-0371

Release Date: March 30, 2011


What if my baby is born prematurely?

Car seats for infants with special needs refers to a specialized restraint such as a car bed. The weight starts at approximately 2kg (4lb) up to 4.4kg (10lb) as a bed. In Canada, these are only prescribed through your pediatrician.
My child has a disability, is there any car seat built specially for the disabled?
YES, children with special needs may need a custom restraint. Talk about this with your pediatrician or Transport Canada.

What if my baby weighs more than 22 pounds but is not 1 year old yet?

Many babies reach 22 pounds before their first birthday. Look for a convertible seat that can be used rear-facing for children who weigh more than 22 pounds.

What if my car has air bags?

New vehicles come equipped with air bags. When used with seat belts, air bags are designed to protect older children and adults. Transport Canada has an Air Bag Deactivating Program in which consumers can choose to have their airbags deactivated if they are in a higher risk group such as:

  1. Your child has disabilities.
  2. Your pediatrician recommends constant supervision of your child during travel.
  3. No other adult can ride in the back seat with your child.

Contact Transport Canada (www.tc.gc.ca) for more information.

What if my vehicle has side air bags?

Transport Canada safety experts have conducted several tests on side air bags with child crash test dummies. The two main conclusions stand out: Children who are leaning against a side air bag when it inflates are at risk of serious injury. Children who are kept away from the path of the side air bag when traveling in a correctly installed car seat are not at risk of serious injury.

Can I use a lap belt for a high back booster seat?

Belt positioning and high back Booster seats MUST be used with lap/shoulder belts.


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