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News Release

Reminding parents not to rush children through each car seat stage

WHITBY, ON December 02, 2014

Durham Region Health Department would like to remind parents and caregivers that it is safest to keep children in each car seat stage for as long as possible. The four car seat stages are rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats and seat belts.

According to Parachute Canada, when children are travelling in the correct car seat stage, the risk of injury can be reduced by 74 per cent. “Moving your child to the next car seat stage before they’re ready is a major safety hazard,” said Jaclyn Young, a public health nurse with the Health Department.

“Car seat safety goes beyond choosing the correct stage,” explained Ms. Young. “Correctly installing the car seat and harnessing your child in the car seat are steps that cannot be overlooked.”

Evidence shows that the following most common car seat installation errors in Durham Region include:

  •  Installing car seats at an incorrect angle. At stage one, rear-facing car seats should be at a 45 degree angle.
  • Car seats are not being secured tight enough. At stage two, forward-facing car seats should not move more than one inch from side to side.

The most common harnessing errors include:

  • The chest clip positioned incorrectly – the chest clip should sit at armpit level on the child.
  • Harness straps are too loose. Only one finger should be able to fit between the harness strap and the child’s collar bone.

Parachute Canada also indicates that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related deaths for Canadian children. “Parents can reduce their child’s risk for injury by following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions for height, weight and age requirements, and by choosing the right car seat stage based on your child’s age, height and/or weight. It’s important not to rush children through the various stages; give them the time they need to grow,” added Ms. Young.

For more information on correct car seat installation and use, call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-241-2729.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.