Child Passenger Safety

Child Passenger Safety https://learningcentre.statefarm.ca/auto/child-passenger-safety/ bb3 Nov 6, 2011

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

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Nothing's more important than the safety of your children. Considering as many as 80% of all car seats are improperly installed and used, there are some things you should keep in mind to keep your kids safe in the car. Transport Canada suggests the following:

What You Can Do

  • Follow directions that come with the car seat and the safety restraint directions in the owner's manual.
  • Make sure to restrain your child appropriately for his or her age and size.
  • Find a Child Car Seat clinic near you if you're having any trouble installing the car seat.

What Not To Do

  • Don't allow children under 12 years old to sit in the front seat of a vehicle.
  • Don't allow a child to sit in front of an active airbag, as airbags are made for adults.

Infants: Rear-Facing Car Seat

0–12 Months, at least 20 lbs.

  • Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, and at least until they are at 12 months old/or and weigh at least 20 lbs. Keep children up to 30–35 lbs. rear-facing if your car seat allows it.
  • Use either a rear-facing infant seat or rear-facing convertible seat.
  • Keep all children in the back seat. Never place a rear-facing infant in the front seat.
  • Route harness straps in lower slots, at or below shoulder level.
  • Fasten the top of the harness clip at armpit level.
  • Keep harness straps snug. Once the infant is buckled, only one finger should be able to fit between the harness and your child at the collarbone.
  • Recline the infant's car seat at no greater than a 45-degree angle, according to manufacturer instructions.

Toddlers: Front-Facing Car Seat

Over 12 months, 20–40 lbs.

  • Always install the forward-facing seat in the back seat of your car.
  • Children at least 12 months old and weighing 20–40 lbs. who can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing car seats secured with harnesses and tethers.
  • Use either a seat belt or the LATCH system to secure the seat. Don't use both systems.
  • Route harness straps in designated reinforced slots, at or above shoulder level.
  • Fasten harness clip at armpit level.
  • Keep harness straps snug. Once buckled, only one finger should be able to fit between the harness and hour child’s chest.

Young Children: Booster Seat

Up to age 8, over 40 lbs. and under 4'9"

  • Your child must weigh at least 18 kg (40 lbs) and meet the height guidelines in your booster seat user guide. It is best to keep your child in a booster seat as long as possible.
  • Always install the booster seat in the back seat of your car.
  • Use a belt positioning booster seat with a lap and shoulder seat belt.
  • Place shoulder strap over the shoulder and snug across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.
  • Place lap belt low and tight on hips, NOT over stomach.

Older Children: Seat Belt Only

Over age 8 or 4'9"

  • Use a lap and shoulder seat belt.
  • Place should strap over the shoulder and snug across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.
  • Lap belt should fit low and tight on hips, NOT over the stomach.
  • Kids 12 and under should always be in the back seat.

For More Information

Transport Canada