Road Safety

Stage 1: Rear-facing infant car seats

Use a rear-facing seat until your child reaches the maximum weight or height limit of the car seat. Car seats are now available to keep your child rear-facing up to 20 kg (45 lb.). Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. Do not switch too soon as your child’s head and neck are still developing.

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. It is comfortable for your child to sit with their legs bent or crossed.

Multi-stage seats

There are different types of multi-stage seats, all of which can extend the use of a car seat and can provide the safety your child needs at each stage of their development:

Infant only

  • rear-facing only
  • available with or without base
  • has carrying handle

Infant/child (convertible)

  • can be used in rear-facing position
  • converts to forward facing seat for Stage 2

Infant/child/booster
(3-in-1 combination)

  • can be used in rear-facing position
  • converts to forward-facing seat for Stage 2 and a booster seat for Stage 3

Keep your child rear-facing is safest. Use the convertible or 3-in-1 combination seats to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. The weight and height limits for the rear-facing stage are often higher than those for the infant-only seat. Check the car seat owner's manual or labels on the seat for more details.

Installation

The safest position for a car seat is the vehicle’s rear middle seat. If you have more than one child, place the youngest in the middle as their smaller bodies are not strong enough to withstand the impact of a crash.

  • Use a seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) to install the seat. Do not use both.
  • Check the tension where the UAS or seatbelt is routed through the car seat. You should not be able to move it more than 2.5 cm (one inch) in any direction.
  • At least 80 per cent of the infant car seat must be in contact with the vehicle seat.
  • Check the level indicators to ensure the infant car seat is at a 45 degree angle.

Check the fit

  • The harness straps should be in the slot that is level with or below your child's shoulders and fit snugly so you can fit only one finger between your baby's collarbone and the straps. The straps should lay flat.
  • The straps should be at or below the shoulders to prevent your baby from sliding out of the car seat.
  • The chest clip should be at armpit level.