Newborn babies, infants and young children require special protection while in a vehicle. In a collision, using a properly installed rear-facing car seat can save your child’s life.

When you install a rear-facing seat, it needs to rest at a 45-degree angle and move no 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). If necessary, use a towel or a foam bar (pool noodle) under the base of the child car seat to adjust the angle.

When a child is placed in the seat, be sure that their bum is back in the seat. The harness straps should sit at or below a baby’s shoulders to be sure they do not slide up during a collision. To test that the harness is tight enough, you should not be able to pinch a horizontal fold of harness at the collarbone. The chest clip should be flat against the chest at armpit level.

When the child outgrows the maximum height or weight of his/her infant seat, you will require a convertible rear-facing seat until your child is ready to be facing forward. Please read your car seat owner’s manual to know exactly how long you can use your seat.

The law requires using a rear-facing car seat until the baby is at least 9 kilograms (20 lb.) However, most forward-facing seats require the child to be a minimum of 22lbs and some have an age requirement as well.

The law is a minimum requirement. The APA recommends that children remain rear-facing until they are 2 years of age.

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 the child all passengers in a collision.

  • Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.)
  • Rear-facing seat
  • Use away from an active airbag

The law is a minimum requirement only.

More car seat safety resources:

  • 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