Road Safety

Stage 3: Booster seats

Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their forward-facing seat, they can move into a booster seat. Because weight limits can vary among forward-facing seats (some can accommodate children up to 30 kg or 65 lb.), please check the car seat manual for the weight limits of your specific car seat.

Manitoba law requires children to remain in booster seats until they are at least 145 cm (4' 9"), 36 kg (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. Research shows that booster seats compared to seatbelts alone protected children from serious injury by up to 45 per cent.*

How to choose a booster seat

If your vehicle does not have a head rest, choose either:

  • A high-back booster seat that provides head and neck support. Some models convert from a forward-facing seat with a harness to a high-back booster seat.
  • An adjustable booster seat that provides adjustable head and neck support as your child grows

If your vehicle has a head restraint, choose one of the following:

  • a fixed high-back booster seat
  • a height-adjustable high-back booster seat
  • a simple/backless booster seat

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.
  • Keep an empty booster seat buckled up to prevent it from moving and hitting you in a sudden stop or crash.

Check the fit

  • The shoulder strap should fit over the shoulder and across your child's chest.
  • The lap belt should sit snug on their hips.
  • The middle of your child's ears should not come past the top of the vehicle's head restraint. The head restraint ensures your child has adequate head and neck protection in a collision.
  • The bend of your child's knees should be in line with the vehicle seat.
  • Never use just a lap belt to secure a child in a booster seat. Always use a shoulder and lap belt.
  • Never allow your child to place the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back as this can cause serious injury.

Click here to watch a video about how to choose and install a booster seat.

*Source:National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010.