Child Safety Seats – Consistent Use and Proper sizing are Key
April 21, 2022, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Child car seats have been required by law in Canada for decades. Their use can sometimes be a struggle with toddlers but constituency of use is the key to success here. Remember, when they are used correctly, they save lives and reduce injuries.
How can you make trips less stressful?
Keys to successful experiences:
- Use a car seat from the start – children who ride in a car seat every time are most likely to stay in their seats. Buckling up should be a habit and NEVER optional or negotiable.
- Be consistent – buckle up every single time you get in the car. The length of the trip doesn’t matter.
- Lead by example – you should also always buckle up.
- Make sure your child has safe activities – soft books and toys, music, a movie, and activities can keep your child busy
- Play games that involve looking out the window – licence plate games, animals, farms, trucks et care all fun to find
- Answer your child’s questions
- Take regular bathroom and running breaks – if you are on a longer trip stop at rest areas to use the facilities and encourage the kids to have a good run around in the green areas. This helps them sit still in the car
- Consider bringing snacks and drinks – sippy cups, crackers and pretzels, apple slices are all great choices
What Car Seat Should I use?
In Ontario your child can use a seatbelt when they reach any of the following milestones:
- They turn 8
- They weigh 36 kg or 80 pounds
- They reach a height of 145 cm or 4’9” tall
Seat belts are dangerous to younger and smaller children as their bodies cannot safely absorb the seatbelt stresses in an accident.
Car Seat selection is also based on age/height and weight criteria. Having the correct car seat for the size and age of the child is also crucial.
Make sure to have the car seat installed properly using the manufacturer's recommendations. Police and fire services often have clinics to make sure they are installed right.
When you buy a car seat make sure:
- It has a valid expiry date
- It has the National Safety Mark ensuring it complies with Canadian regulations
- DO NOT buy a used seat
- Never buy a seat that has been in an accident or has signs of wear – torn harness, straps, cracks or stress marks.
What about when children are older than 8?
- Children under 14 should always ride in the back seat.
- Every passenger in the car must have their own seatbelt.
- The shoulder belt should go across their chest, not behind their back or under their arm.
- The lap belt should be over the hips, not the stomach
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us at 1-519-742-7774.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.