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News Release

Parents reminded not to rush through car seat stages

WHITBY, ON October 15, 2015 - Durham Region Health Department is reminding parents and caregivers that it’s safest to keep children in a car seat for as long as possible, following manufacturers’ guidelines for installation based on height and weight. The four car seat stages include rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats and seat belts.

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, when used correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent. Booster seats can reduce the risk of injury by 59 per cent, compared to using a seatbelt alone.

“Parents have a very important job in maintaining their children’s safety when riding in a vehicle,” said Nicole Goodfellow, a public health nurse with the Health Department. Moving your child to the next car seat stage before they are ready is a major safety concern.

“With so many car seats on the market, it can make choosing the one challenging for parents. Choosing the correct stage is the first step in ensuring your child is optimally protected while travelling in a vehicle. The type of car seat your child needs is based on their age, height and/or weight. Many parents are not aware that they are not using the right seat.”

According to the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, every day in Canada, two children will die in or are seriously injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision. Parents can reduce their child’s risk for injury by choosing the correct stage of car seat, installing it correctly, based on the manufacturers’ instructions, and by adhering to the car seat’s maximal height and weight restrictions. “It’s important not to rush children through the various stages. Allow them to remain in each stage until they reach the maximum height or weight limit of the car seat, giving them the time they need to grow,” added Ms. Goodfellow.

For more information on car seat safety and correct installation and use, please visit or call Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Alicia Cowan - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2952 or

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

For more information, please contact Health Department.