Knowing which car seat to use at each stage of your child’s development can be confusing. The most important thing to remember is to not rush your child from one car-seat stage to the next. Children should remain in their current car-seat stage, whether it’s a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat, until they reach its weight or height limit. This information can be found in the car-seat manual or on the car seat itself.
There are four car-seat stages that protect your child as they grow – rear-facing infant car seats, forward-facing child car seats, booster seats and finally, seatbelts.
Rear-facing seats are the safest place for your child to be because they distribute the impact of a collision along the back of the car seat, which protects your child’s fragile head and neck. We strongly recommend keeping your child rear-facing until they reach the weight and height limit of their rear-facing seat, as your child’s head and neck are still developing.
For information on installation, proper fit and important tips, see our Child Car Seats brochure.
Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their rear-facing seat, they can move into a forward-facing seat. The harness straps in a forward-facing seat are designed so the impact is taken where your child’s body is strongest – the shoulders and chest, and then directed down to the hips.
Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their forward-facing seat, they can move into a booster seat. Manitoba law requires children to remain in booster seats until they’re at least 4’ 9”, 80 lb, or nine years old. Without a booster seat, a seatbelt rides too high on a child’s stomach and neck and can cause serious injuries
For your child’s safety, Manitoba law requires children to remain in booster seats until they’re at least 4’ 9”, 80 lb, or nine years old. It’s important not to rush to using a seatbelt alone because it’s not designed for a child – the shoulder strap rides too high and could cause serious injuries.
For information on seatbelts and proper fit for kids, see our Child Car Seats brochure.
To book a presentation on child car seats for your community group, school or business, visit our Road Safety Community Presentations page for more information. For newcomers to Manitoba and newcomer organizations, an adapted “Welcome to Manitoba” presentation with child car seat information included is available. (Currently, only virtual presentations are available due to COVID-19.)
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