A child can start riding facing forward when he or she has outgrown their rear-facing car seat.

If you are using a convertible seat, check your user manual to see at what height, weight and age your child is required to be to ride in the forward-facing position.

To install a forward facing car seat, use the Universal Anchorage System (UAS) or seat belt and the tether strap. The tether strap is required by law in Canada. When installed, the seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) side-to-side at the belt path (where the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap is routed through the child car seat).

Please read your car seat owner’s manual for installation and usage instructions. Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you where in the vehicle the tether anchor bolts are located. If your vehicle does not have a tether anchor in place, contact a dealership to have one installed.

Ensure that the shoulder straps are at or above the child’s shoulders. Straps should be snug, and you should not be able to pinch a horizontal fold in the harness straps. The chest clip is required to be used at the same level as the child’s armpits.

Forward-facing seats are outgrown when the child approaches the height or weight limit of the seat, OR the tops of the ears are level with the top of the hard shell, OR when the top position of the harness is no longer at or above the shoulder level (whichever comes first applies). Your car seat owners manual will tell you specifically what the requirements are for your seat.

It is best practice to use a harnessed seat for as long as possible to allow the child’s skeletal frame to grow and be strong enough to support the use of a seat belt. The harness spreads the force of the impact over the child’s shoulders, chest and pelvis. If rushed to a booster, their small frame may not be able to support the impact on just their one shoulder and pelvis in a seat belt.

Do not use aftermarket car seat products, such as snuggle bags or padded harness covers; they were not crash tested with the car seat. Also, make sure all loose items in the vehicle are secured as they can become projectiles or may have hard or sharp surfaces that can hurt all passengers in a collision.

  • 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lb.)
  • Forward-facing seat
  • Use with a tether strap

For more information about child car seat safety, please contact:

  • ServiceOntario – 1 800 268-4686
  • Ministry of Transportation web: www.mto.gov.on.ca
  • Your local public health unit
  • Additional information on child car seat safety and car seat recalls is available from: Transport Canada 1-800-333-0371, Webhttp://www.tc.gc.ca