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Injury Prevention

Car and Booster Seats

Car crashes kill more children than any other injury. At CHEO, 1 out of every 3 serious injuries seen in the emergency department is due to a car crash. Car and booster seats can make a big difference, but they have to be the right size for your child. Also, they have to be installed correctly.

In Ontario, it is the law to have your child in the correct car seat or booster seat for their age, height and weight. Parents want to make sure everyone arrives safe and sound.

Plan ahead. Children grow fast. Make sure you’re ready for the next stage.

Follow Transport Canada's 4 stages to make sure your child is in the correct seat.

  • Know your child’s weight, height and stage to help you choose the right seat
  • Check your car seat’s expiry date
  • Check your car seat has a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard label or National Safety mark.

Use it. Using the right safety gear can make a big difference.

Stage 1: Rear-facing infant car seat

Use a rear-facing infant seat from birth until your baby is about a year old. Infant seats can be safely used until your baby is 10 kg (22 lbs). If your baby is heavier, you can get a larger seat, but use it in the rear facing position.

Stage 2: Forward facing car seat

Forward-facing car seats can be safely used until your child is 18 kg (40 lbs). Some forward-facing car seats may take children who weigh up to 22 kg (48 lbs). Always check your car seat directions for the correct weight for your child.

Stage 3: Booster seat

Children who weigh between 18-36 kg (40-80 lbs), less than 145 cm (4’ 9”) and who are under 8 years old, should be placed in a booster seat.

Learn how. Do it right.

Follow the car seat installation directions and your car manual to correctly install your car seat. Get your work checked at a local car seat clinic. Or check Parachute’s Installing car & booster seats (videos). This on-line video will help you learn how to install your child’s car seat.

Drive Smart. Take care to get everyone there safe and sound.

  • Wear a seat belt to set a good example for your children.

  • Slow down. You need time to be able to react to things happening on the road.
  • Focus on driving. Don’t let yourself be distracted by cell phones or text messages.
  • Never drive if you have been drinking or if you are high.
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