Road Safety

Stage 2: Forward-facing child car seats

Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their rear-facing seat, they can move into a forward-facing seat. Look for a forward-facing seat that will meet the weight and height requirements of your child for as long as possible. Some seats are made for children up to 30 kg (65 lb.).

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.

Infant/child (convertible)

  • Use in forward facing mode with harness system and top tether strap.
  • All seats have different weight and height limits. Check for the one that will best suit the needs of your child.

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

  • Use in forward facing mode with harness system and top tether strap.
  • Can remove harness system and top tether strap to convert to booster seat for Stage 3.

Child/booster

  • Use in forward facing mode with harness system and top tether strap.
  • Can remove harness system and top tether strap to convert to booster seat for Stage 3.

Seats with weight limits for children over 18 kg (40 lb.) are available. If your child is over 18 kg but younger than 4-1/2 years old, consider keeping him or her in a harness system for better protection.

If your child weighs over 18 kg, also check with your vehicle manufacturer if your vehicle can support a heavier child with either the UAS and tether, or with the seat belt and tether.*

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.
  • The tether strap must always be used to secure the top of the car seat to the vehicle.
  • Use a seatbelt or UAS to install the seat. Don't use both.
  • Check the tension where the seatbelt or UAS is routed through the car seat. You should not be able to move the car seat more than one inch in any direction.

Check the fit

  • The harness straps should be in the slot that is level with or above your child's shoulders and fit snugly so that you can fit only one finger between your child's chest and the straps. The straps should lay flat.
  • The middle of your child's ears should not come past the top of the seat.
  • The chest clip should be at armpit level.

*Source: Transport Canada