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Child Car Seats
(Rear and forward-facing

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Use this simple two-sided checklist to help you with installation, harnessing and travelling questions (printable)

Child car seat
Child Car Seat Checklist (PDF)

Installation and Harnessing

Moving to the Next Car Seat

Safe Travel

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Moving to the next car seat... "Give them time to grow"

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Travelling tip: loose objects should be secured or put in the trunk. This prevents them from injuring the driver or passengers in a collision or sudden stop.

All drivers must ensure that passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured in a car seat, booster seat or seatbelt. This includes grandparents, babysitters, and visitors to Ontario. The fine is $240 and two demerit points.

Tips on how to install the car seat forward-facing Tips

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1. Choose the location

This is important because the speed at which airbags go off can cause serious injury to children less than 13 years of age.

2. Decide on the seat belt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS)

This is important because safety testing has never been done with both in use.

This is important because some vehicles do not allow the UAS to be used for children weighing over 40 pounds.

This is important because locking prevents the seat belt from loosening and keeps the car seat firmly in place.

3. Find the correct belt path

This is important because using the correct path helps keep the car seat securely fastened to the vehicle seat, and prevents it from pulling apart during a crash.

4. Secure the tether strap to the tether anchor

This is important because using the tether strap and tether anchor will decrease the forward movement of your child’s head during a crash.

Note: It is the law that the tether must be used in the forward-facing position.

5. Secure the seat

This is often easier when done with two people.

6. Check the tightness of your installation

This is important because forward-facing car seats are designed so that when they are installed properly, they basically become part of the vehicle. A loose car seat (more than 1 inch of movement) puts your child at risk.


Tips on how to harness your child into the forward-facing car seat Tips

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1. Place your child in the car seat

This is important because the car seat has not been tested with additional padding in use. The force of a collision may flatten the padding, making the harness straps loose. This could allow your child to slip out and be ejected if there is a crash or sudden stop.

2. Place and secure the harness straps

3. Check the level of the harness straps

This is important because it will assist in safely absorbing the forces of a crash or sudden stop by spreading them evenly across the child’s body.

4. Check that the harness straps lay flat

This is important because twists or folds will decrease the effectiveness of the harness system and could cause it to fail.

5. Tighten the harness

6. Connect and position the chest clip

This is important because the clip keeps the harness over your child’s shoulders preventing ejection if there is a crash or sudden stop, and the clip at armpit level helps to allow the forces of a crash or sudden stop to be safely absorbed over the strong chest bone of the larger child.