CHILD OCCUPANT PROTECTION (CAR SEATS)
Motor vehicle crashes are leading cause of injury death in children between 1 and 9 years of age and are also a cause of children staying in hospital. One of the best ways to keep your child safe in the car is by using the Transport Canada-approved car seat for every ride.
Car seats save lives and prevent injuries.
Car seat tips
Each car seat stage is safer than the next one, so parents should not be in a rush to move their child to the next stage. Parents are encouraged to have their installed car seats checked by a trained technician.
- Rear-facing seats - These are safest for infants and toddlers as they support the head, neck and back. Children should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years of age or until they outgrow the weight or height limit for their car seat. When the child outgrows the infant carry type of seat, parents should keep their child rear‑facing by buying a convertible car seat that can be used rear and forward facing and has a higher weight limit.
- Forward-facing seats - Children 2 years of age or older or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown their rear-facing weight or height limit for the car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a five point harness. Children should stay in this type of seat as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height limit for their car seat.
- Booster seats - Children who outgrow their forward-facing car seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat. Booster seats lift the child up so that the vehicle’s shoulder and lap belts fit them properly and position the belts so that the shoulder belt goes over the middle of the chest and the lap belt fits over the tops of the thighs. A booster seat is required by law in Manitoba until the child is 9 years of age, 80 lbs. or 4’9” tall. Height is the most important factor to consider before moving to a seatbelt.
- Seatbelts - Children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the back seats of vehicles for best protection.
These recommendations are based on the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement-Child Passenger Safety (2011)