Child car seats
Have questions about child or infant car seats? You're definitely not alone. Here are some tips to help ensure you're using and installing your seat correctly.
When used properly, child safety seats significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries in a crash.
The right seat for every stage of growth
Children outgrow everything—even car seats! Ensure you're using the right seat for your child's age and size.
It's also the law: In B.C., all children under 16 years old must be properly restrained in an appropriate child car seat or seat belt.
For child passenger safety information in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Korean, and Spanish, please visit childseatinfo.ca.
At least one year old and 9 kg (20 lbs.)
You must use a rear-facing child car seat until your child is at least one year of age and 9 kg (20 lbs).
There's no rush to switch to a forward-facing seat — these guidelines are just the minimum requirements. Your baby or toddler can stay rear-facing, so long as their weight is within your child seat's stated limit.
A rear-facing child seat is the safest option for your child, as it provides better support for your baby or toddler's head and neck.
- Place in the back seat, centre position.
- Never install a rear-facing seat on a front seat seat equipped with an air bag—your child could be injured if the air bag deployed.
- Transport Canada Stage 1
Older than one year and between 9-18 kg (20-40 lbs.)
Use a rear or forward-facing car seat depending on your child's weight. Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. This is the safest option as long as their weight is within the manufacturer's stated limit.
More than 18 kg (40 lbs.) and under nine years old or 145 cm (4'9") tall
Use a booster seat until your child is at least nine years old or 145 cm (4'9") tall.
- Place in the back seat.
- Booster seats are designed to be used with a lap/shoulder belt. Do not use a booster seat with only a lap belt.
- Position lap belt low over hip bones and shoulder belt over shoulder and in front of chest.
- Transport Canada Stage 3
Kids 12 and under who are too old or large for a booster seat should always sit in the back seat. Always make sure they use a seatbelt and that its properly adjusted.
Choose an approved car seat
When you're purchasing or using a seat, make sure
- it meets Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
- it hasn't expired and
- it's Canadian. If you're buying a seat outside of Canada, including online from non-Canadian vendors, it does not comply with Canada's safety regulations.
Installing your car seat
For your child seat to be effective, it must be installed properly. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
Need help or tips?
- Visit Transport Canada for instructions with diagrams. Key information is also available in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Somali, and Spanish.
- Call the experts at our Child Passenger Safety Program Information Line: 1-877-247-5551.