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Infant Car Seats (Rear-facing)

Did you know?

Infant seats are rear-facing and reclined in order to support your baby’s neck in a sudden stop or crash. This is important because:

Even when your baby is able to walk, rear-facing is still safer until they reach the manufacturer’s weight or height limits of their car seat.


Checklist

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

infant car seat
Infant 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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Safe travel... Don’t forget

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father and son

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 rear-facing Tips

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Note: Infant car seats with removable bases can be used either with or without the base (refer to your car seat manual).

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. Position the car seat so that the back is reclined at a 45 degree angle

This is important because with infants their heads are heavy. If they sit too upright their heads will flop forward and this can make it difficult for them to breathe.

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

Never use both the UAS and the seatbelt to secure the car seat. This is important because safety testing has never been done with both in use.

This is important because if the buckle sits too high, the car seat may not fit tightly enough.

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

4. 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.

5. Secure the seat

This is often easier when done with two people.

6. Check the tightness of your installation

This is important because 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.


Note: It is normal for the rear-facing car seat to have movement at the top - this helps to absorb the forces in a crash.

Test

Tips on how to harness your child into the rear-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 using additional padding or after market products. 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

Note: For larger children their legs may push against the back of your vehicle seat, this is not a safety problem. They will make themselves comfortable.

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 across the strongest part of the smaller child’s body, their back.

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 chest clip keeps the harness over your child’s shoulders. If the straps were to slip off the shoulders your child could be ejected if there is a crash or sudden stop.

7. If using the infant car seat with the removable base

This is important because it helps you be sure that the seat is securely attached to the base.

Most infant seats require the carrying handle to be in the down position.