Ensuring your child is safely and properly restrained while traveling in your vehicle is critical. However, installing a child car seat can sometimes be confusing and difficult.
Make the process a little easier by searching Transport Canada’s car seat comprehensive information source.
Find details about how seats perform in collisions, Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, seat types, how to select and buy a new or used seat, and even common installation errors.
NOTE: Inspection clinics previously held at fire stations no longer exist in many communities. St. John Ambulance developed a 2-hour parent orientation session that is free of charge to the public. Parents can register for these sessions on how to properly install their child restraint system. However, spots are limited and advance registration is required.
For questions and to register, call (780) 452-6161 or visit the St. John Ambulance website.
Future dates for Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer are being planned. They will be posted when finalized.
Public notices are issued regarding certain seats, notifying consumers about potential defects and child car seat recalls. Visit Transport Canada’s website to view a list of safety notices. If you are unable to find the notice you’re looking for, try searching by seat brand.
What kind of infant seat or child car seat is best?
All infant and child car seats must meet strict safety regulations. Proof must be displayed on the child car seat in the form of a label that states the item meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: CMVSS 213 – do not buy a seat without this label.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to find what’s appropriate for the child’s weight and height.
I want to place my rear-facing infant seat in the passenger seat, but it is equipped with an air bag. Will the air bag affect the child seat?
An expanding air bag could seriously injure or kill a child in a rear-facing infant seat. Transport Canada recommends that rear facing infant seats be placed in the rear seat instead of the front, in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
The base of the child car seat is not held tightly in place by the seatbelt. What causes this?
The manually adjusted seatbelt buckle may be sitting vertically when installed through the base of the child car seat. As a result, the locking bar inside the buckle is not able to grip the belt. Twist the belt once and buckle it upside down. Check for a secure attachment by applying pressure in all directions on the seat.
Some slippage at the base may occur when a continuous loop seatbelt is used to secure the child car seat. This type of seatbelt has a metal tongue that slides along the length of the belt. It requires the use of a locking clip to keep the metal tongue from moving and loosening the belt. The seatbelt should lock in a collision but the child car seat could work loose during sharp turns or swerves. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if a locking clip is required and follow directions for its use. Locking clips are required in most situations where this type of seatbelt is used with a child car seat.
When is it safe to put my child forward-facing?
There are three factors parents need to be aware of when deciding to change the direction their child faces:
Injury research shows that children are safest facing the rear as long as possible, in the middle of the back seat.
What if my child is too tall for his/her child seat but weighs less than 40 pounds?
Children are safest in a forward-facing car seat until a minimum of 18 kg and the Alberta law requires this. Do not move a child to a booster seat before they are 18 kg, as this is both illegal and unsafe.
Why is it not safe to put my six-year-old in a seatbelt?
Seatbelts are designed to fit adult sized bodies. They are designed to fit across the shoulder, chest, and hips so that these bony areas will absorb the force of a crash. When a child is too small for a seatbelt, it goes across the neck and over the abdomen, which could cause life-threatening injuries to the internal organs and spine in a crash. Using a booster seat solves this problem. It raises the child up so that the seat belt fits the child’s body properly.
How do I know when to move my child into a seat belt?
When the seat belt fits your child well, it is safe to place them in a seatbelt, but keep your child in a booster seat until they are at least 9 years old, 80 pounds or 4'9" tall.
Five questions that determine readiness for the seatbelt are: