Installing and Using Your Car Seat

Through our clinics we have found that as many as 90% of car seats are installed improperly. Meanwhile, a properly installed car seat can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by as much as 71%. SEATS for Kids is committed to ensuring every parent or caregiver knows how to install and use their child’s car seat safely every time. It’s important to find the seat that is right for you and your child, Learn more about how to ensure your child’s car seat is installed and used properly, and where you can go for more help.

Car Seat Expiration

All car seats and booster seats sold in Canada have an expiry or useful life date. Using an expired car seat or booster seat is against the law and puts your child at risk. If you can’t find the expiry date on your seat, you can find the “useful life date” specific to your seat in your instruction manual. You can also call the seat manufacturer directly.

There’s No Rush to the Next Stage

Moving to the next stage before your child is ready is a common problem. Your child should sit rear-facing as long as possible, ride in a 5-point harness as long as possible and ride in the back seat until age 13. A rear-facing child is significantly less likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision.

Staying Safe and Warm in Winter

Winter snow suits and bulky clothing prevent proper tightening and positioning of straps and buckles. In a collision, clothing will compress and the straps will become too loose to properly hold your child. Dress your child in thin but warm clothes and keep their harness tight. If your child gets cold, blankets over top are a great way to safely keep your child warm in the car.

Seat belt or UAS?

When used properly, a seat belt installation or the Universal Anchor System (UAS) are equally safe. Use whichever system works best for your needs and that will ensure you can install the seat safely. Very few vehicles or seats allow the use of both, so consult your manuals.

Aftermarket Products and Projectiles

Products such as seat protectors, infant mirrors, toys, roll up window shades, and ‘bundle bags’ are not recommended and might not be allowed by your seat’s manufacturer. These items are not crash-tested and can pose a safety risk to your child. If the item did not come with your car seat or vehicle, do not use it.

Remember, anything in your car can become a projectile in a collision. Toys, pets, snow brushes, bags, and even other people can all hit you or your child and cause serious injury. Keep loose objects in your trunk or under a cargo cover. Pets should also be properly restrained for their safety as well as yours. As an adult, always remember to wear the vehicle seat belt.