A Parent`s Guide to Car Seats

A Parent`s Guide to Car Seats
Keep Kids Safe
A Parent’s Guide to Car Seats
Choosing and using the right car seat.
!
For safety’s sake…
This booklet tells you how to install and use car seats in your own car, van, truck or SUV.
Please keep in mind that your child should be in a properly installed car seat whenever he or she rides in
ANY car.
This includes riding in taxis or in grandparents’ or babysitters’ cars.
Please note: When we use the word “car” in this booklet, it includes cars, vans, trucks and SUVs.
Choosing and Using the Right Car Seat C
ar crashes kill and injure more children than any other cause. When you use the right car seat in the right way, you can reduce
the risk that your child will be hurt or killed by 70%. Car seats and booster
seats save lives.
For a car seat to protect your child, you must:
l Use a car seat that meets Transport Canada’s safety regulations. A safe seat will have the mark shown to the right.
l If you are using an old or used car seat, check to be sure:
– has never been in a crash
– is not older than the manufacturer’s expiry date
– if there is no expiry date stamped in the plastic, call the
manufacturer. Most seats can be used for six years.
l Choose the seat that is right for your child’s age and size.
l Put the seat in your car the right way.
l Harness your child in the seat correctly every time.
Once you’ve chosen the right car seat for your child’s age and size, you can use the checklists in this booklet to be sure that:
• You put the seat in your car the right way.
• You harness your child into the seat correctly.
The kind of seat children need changes as they grow. Don’t be in a rush to
move your children from one kind of seat to another. Make sure that they
are old enough and big enough to be safe in the new seat.
Look for this safety mark
For
safety’s
sake…
!
Never ride with a baby
or child in your arms or
on your lap.
Never leave a child
alone in a car.
Objects in the car can fly
around and injure people
during a crash or sudden
stop. Be sure everything
in your car is strapped
down or stored in the
trunk.
1
Contents The Safest Spot in Your Car .....................
4
Types of Car Seats .......................................
6
Rear-Facing Infant Seat .............................
8
Babies need a Rear-Facing Infant Seat from birth until they are
AT LEAST 1 year old and weigh AT LEAST 10 kg (22 pounds).
Some seats can be used rear-facing until your baby weighs
18 kg (40 pounds).
Forward-Facing Child Seat .........................
Babies must be at least 1 year old, weigh more than
10kg (22 pounds) and should be walking on their own before they
move to a forward-facing seat. They must continue to use this
seat until they weigh 18 kg (40 pounds). Some forward facing car
seats can be used with harness straps until your child weighs
up to 30 kg (65 pounds).
2
12
Booster Seat ..................................................
Children must weigh at least 18 kg (40 pounds) to move to
a booster seat. A child should also be at least 4 years old.
It’s safest if children use a booster seat until they are
145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall.
16
18
Seat Belt........................................................... Children are ready for a seat belt when they are AT LEAST
145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall. They must be tall enough for their legs to
bend over the edge of the seat while they are sitting up straight.
20
To Find Out More .........................................
!
For safety’s sake…
When you buy a car seat:
• Read and follow the directions that come with your car seat. Every brand of car seat is a little different. Each will come with an instruction booklet.
• Send in the registration card when you buy a car seat. If you do this, the manufacturer can let you know if there are any recalls or problems with the seat.
• Check with Transport Canada to see if there are any recalls on the seat you plan to use. You’ll find contact information for Transport Canada on page 20.
3
The Safest Spot in Your Car
T
he best spot for your child is in the back seat of your car. Even when
your child no longer needs a car or booster seat, your children are
safest in the back seat until they are 13.
If your car will allow it, the middle of the back seat is the safest place.
The side positions are safe too. In many you can only use the Universal
Anchorage System (page 13) in the side positions. Do not place a rearfacing seat in front of an armrest that folds down.
4
If you must place your child’s car seat next to a door, remove all toys,
blankets, pillows or other things from the space between the car seat and
the door. These could hurt your child if the side airbag inflates.
If you don’t have a back seat…
It is never safe to install a forward-facing car seat in the front seat if there
is no tether anchor for the car seat.
Airbags are dangerous for children.
• It is never safe to put a rear-facing infant seat in a seat with an active
front air bag.
• If you must put your child in the front seat, turn off the airbag.
Remove all toys, blankets,
pillows or other things from the
space between the car seat and
the door.
To find out if it’s okay to use a car seat in the front seat of your car:
• Check your owner’s manual
• Call your car’s manufacturer
• Call Transport Canada (You’ll find contact information for Transport
Canada on page 20.)
5
Types of Car Seats
Infant Seats
Babies need a rear-facing Infant Seat from birth until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least
10 kg (22 pounds).
Many convertible car seats can be used rear-facing until your child weighs 118 kg (40 pounds).
Check the label on your seat.
Rear-facing infant car seat
6
Rear-facing convertible car seat
Child Seats
Booster Seats
Babies must be at least 1 year old and weigh more
than 10kg (22 pounds) before they can move to
a forward-facing seat. It is safer to keep your baby
in a rear-facing convertible seat longer.
Children must weigh at least 18 kg (40 pounds) to
move to a booster seat. A child should also be at
least 4 years old. They must use a booster seat until
they are 9 years old or 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall. If you
use a backless booster, make sure the seat in your
car is tall enough to protect your child’s head.
Forward-facing convertible car seat
High-back booster seat
Backless booster seat
7
Using a Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat
Rear-facing infant car seat
Rear-facing convertible car seat
8
B
abies need a rear-facing infant seat from birth until they are at least
1 year old and weigh at least 10 kg (22 pounds). Rear-facing car
seats provide the best protection for your baby’s head and neck. Keep your
baby rear-facing until your baby is walking on their own, and your baby
is older and heavier. Many babies use an infant seat with a handle when
they are born, and then move to a convertible seat later. Your baby can sit
rear-facing in a convertible seat until they reach the weight limit or height
limit printed on the label on the seat. Many seats can be used in the rearfacing position until your baby weighs 18 kg (40 pounds). Check the label
on your seat. It is okay for your baby’s legs to touch the back of the car.
Rear-facing seats need to be tilted back at an angle of a maximum of
45 degrees to keep your baby’s head lying back. Check your car seat manual
to learn how to do this.
1. Put the seat in your car
Cars built after September 2002 have a Universal Anchorage
System (UAS/LATCH). If you are using this system:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to see how to use the UAS/LATCH system in
your car. In most cars you cannot use the UAS in the middle seat. Use
the seatbelt instead.
l Connect the infant car seat to the UAS/LATCH anchors in the car.
Rear-facing infant seat with a base
l Pull the UAS/LATCH belt tight. The seat should not be able to slide side
to side more than 2.5 cm (1 inch). If the top of the seat moves, that is
normal.
If you are using a UAS/LATCH system do not also use the regular
seat belt.
UAS/LATCH
If you are using a lap belt to hold the car
seat:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to find out
how to use a seat belt with an infant car
seat in your car.
l Put the seat belt through the marked
pathway on the infant car seat or base.
You’ll find the correct pathway in your car
seat instruction booklet. Buckle the seat
belt.
Rear-facing infant seat
without a base
l Push down on the infant car seat or base and pull seat belt tight.
Push hard. Use your knee.
Push hard. Use your hand or
knee.
l Test the seatbelt to be sure it stays tight. If the seat belt loosens,
tighten it again, unbuckle the seat belt, flip the buckle over and buckle
it again. The car seat should not be able to slide side to side more than
2.5 cm (1 inch). If the top of the seat moves, that is normal.
If you are using a regular seat belt do not also use the UAS/LATCH system.
Locking clip
9
How to use a locking clip
Squeeze and feed through first
slot.
Squeeze and feed through
second slot.
Locking clip lies flat and should
look like the photo.
If you are using a lap and shoulder belt to hold the car seat:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to find out how to use a seat belt with an infant car seat in your car.
l Put the seat belt through the marked pathway on the infant car seat
or base and buckle it. You’ll find the correct pathway in your car seat
instruction booklet. Buckle the seat belt.
Push hard. Use your knee.
Sometimes a tight
shoulder belt can tilt the
infant seat to the side.
If this happens, leave
the shoulder belt
loose. Use a locking
clip to lock the lap and
shoulder belt in place.
10
l Pull the shoulder belt all the way out. You’ll hear it click when it reaches
the end. Let go of it. As the belt shortens, push down on the infant
car seat or base. Push hard. At the same time, pull up on the shoulder
belt so that it will lock in place as tightly as possible. Not all seatbelts
lock. When you pull your seatbelt all the way out and let it go, it should
shorten, but not lengthen again. If it can be pulled out, it doesn’t lock.
If your car’s seatbelts don’t lock, you’ll need to use a locking clip to
keep the car seat in place.
l Test the seat belt to be sure it stays tight. If the seat belt loosens, use
a locking clip. The car seat should not be able to slide side to side more
than 2.5 cm (1 inch). If the top of the seat moves, that is normal.
If you are using a regular seat belt do not also use the UAS/LATCH system.
2. Put your baby in the seat
l The shoulder harness is threaded in the infant car seat as shown in
the instructions. Choose the slot that is level with or slightly below your
baby’s shoulders.
l The chest clip is level with your baby’s armpits.
l The shoulder harness stays on the baby’s shoulders.
l The harness is snug. You can fit only 1 finger under the harness on
your baby’s chest.
One finger under the harness
l The harness stays snug when you pull on it.
l Do not use bunting bags or head-huggers that did not come with the
seat. They may not be safe.
!
For safety’s sake…..
Check the instructions to see where the handle of your seat
should be when it is in the car. On some seats, the handle
must be pushed back. On other seats the handle must remain
up. Some handles must be in the rebound position near your
baby’s feet.
If your infant seat has a canopy, check your instruction booklet.
Some canopies must be down when the seat is used in a car.
(Adapted from Take the Infant Car Seat YES Test, Calgary Health Region)
11
Using a Forward-Facing Child Car Seat
B
abies must be at least 1 year old, and weigh more than 10kg
(22 pounds) before they move to a forward-facing seat. There is no
rush. It is safer to keep your baby in a rear-facing convertible seat until your
baby is walking on their own, and your baby is older and heavier. Some
convertible seats can be used rear-facing until your baby weighs 18 kg
(40 pounds). It is okay if your baby’s feet are touching the back of the car.
When your baby moves to a forward-facing seat, they must continue to use
this seat until they weigh 18 kg (40 pounds). Some forward facing car seats
can be used with harness straps until your child weighs 30 kg (65 pounds).
12
Before you install the car seat
Put your child in the car seat to see how the harness straps fit. The harness
straps should come out of a slot that is level with or a little above your
child’s shoulders. Your car seat manual will show you how to adjust the
harness straps.
1. Put the seat in your car
Cars built after September 2002 have a Universal Anchorage
System (UAS/LATCH). If you are using this system:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to see how to
use the UAS/LATCH system in your car. In
most cars you cannot use the UAS in the
middle seat. Use the seatbelt instead.
l Connect the car seat to the UAS/LATCH
anchors in the car.
UAS/LATCH
l Pull the UAS/LATCH belt tight. The seat should not be able to slide side
to side more than 2.5 cm (1 inch).
Forward-facing child seat
l Hook the tether strap on the car seat to the tether anchor in the car.
Be sure the tether strap is tight. If you don’t see a tether anchor, your
owner’s manual will show you where it is.
If you are using a UAS/LATCH system do not also use the regular seat belt.
If you are using a lap belt to hold the car seat:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to find out how to use a seat belt with
a front-facing car seat in your car.
l Put the seat belt through the marked pathway on the car seat.
You’ll find the correct pathway in your car seat instruction booklet.
Buckle the seat belt.
l Push down on the car seat or base and pull seat belt tight. Push hard.
l Test the seatbelt to be sure it stays tight. If the seat belt loosens,
tighten it again, unbuckle the seat belt, flip the buckle over and buckle
it again. The car seat should not be able to slide side to side more than
2.5 cm (1 inch).
Push down on seat and pull tight
on belt
13
l Hook the tether strap on the car seat to the tether anchor in the car.
Be sure the tether strap is tight. If you don’t see a tether anchor, your
owner’s manual will show you where it is. If your car has no anchor, a mechanic may be able to install one.
If you are using a regular seat belt do not also use the UAS/LATCH system.
Tether anchor
If you are using a lap and shoulder belt to hold the car seat:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to find out how to use a seat belt with a forward-facing car seat in your car.
l Put the seat belt through the marked pathway on the car seat or base
and buckle it. You’ll find the correct pathway in your car seat instruction
booklet. Buckle the seat belt.
Push hard. Use your knee.
l Pull the shoulder belt all the way out. You’ll hear it click when it reaches
the end. Let go of it. As the belt shortens, push down on the car seat.
Push hard. At the same time, pull up on the shoulder belt so that it will
lock in place as tightly as possible. Not all seatbelts lock. When you
pull your seatbelt all the way out and let it go, it should shorten, but
not lengthen again. If it can be pulled out, it doesn’t lock. If your car’s
seatbelts don’t lock, you’ll need to use a locking clip to keep the car
seat in place. See How to use a locking clip on page 10.
l Test the seat belt to be sure it stays tight. If the seat belt loosens, use
a locking clip. The car seat should not be able to slide side to side more
than 2.5 cm (1 inch).
l Hook the tether strap on the car seat to the tether anchor in the car.
Be sure the tether strap is tight. If you don’t see a tether anchor, your
owner’s manual will show you where it is. If your car has no anchor, a mechanic may be able to install one.
Locking clip
14
If you are using a regular seat belt do not also use the UAS/LATCH system.
2. Put your child in the seat
l The shoulder harness is threaded in the car seat as shown in the
instructions. The straps should be level with or just above your child’s
shoulders.
l The chest clip is level with your child’s armpits.
l The shoulder harness stays on the child’s shoulders.
One finger under the harness
l The harness is snug. You can fit only 1 finger under the harness at your
child’s collarbone.
l The harness stays snug when you pull on it.
(Adapted from Take the Child Car Seat YES Test, Calgary Health Region)
15
Using a Booster Seat
For
safety’s
sake…
!
When the booster seat
is empty, buckle it in
place or take it out
of your car. A loose
booster seat can
bounce around in a
sudden stop or a crash.
C
hildren can move to a booster seat when they weigh 18 kg
(40 pounds). However, there is no rush. It is best to wait until your
child is 4 years old or more. Some car seats can be used with harness
straps until your child weighs 30 kg (65 pounds). The law says that
children must use a booster until they are 9 years old or 145 cm
(4 ft. 9 in.) tall. It’s safest if children stay in the booster seat until they
are 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall, even if they are older than 9. You need to get
a booster seat with a higher weight limit if your child weighs more than the
weight limit for your booster seat, but is less that 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall.
16
Adult seat belts are too big for a child’s small body. Booster seats lift
children up so that the seat belt fits safely over their body. As well, a child
in a booster seat can see out the windows and is happier riding in the car.
Booster Seats can only be used if your car has lap-shoulder belts. There are two kinds of Booster Seats:
• High Back: These seats support the child’s head in cars with
low-backed seats. Some high back boosters can only be used in tall
vehicle seats.
• Backless: These have just a seat. They are safe in cars with high-back
seats.
Children should use a booster seat until the middle of their ears is above
the top of the car’s seat or the back of the high-back booster seat. If the
child is leass than 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall they may need a different booster
seat with a higher back.
High back booster seat
1. Put the seat in your car:
l Check the Owner’s Manual to find out how to use a booster seat in
your car.
l Follow the instructions that come with your booster seat.
l Put the booster seat in the back seat of your car.
2. Put your child in the seat
Backless booster seat
l The shoulder belt crosses the middle of your child’s chest. Your child
could be hurt or killed if the shoulder belt is behind the child’s back or
under the arm.
l The lap belt is low and snug over the hips.
(Adapted from Take the Booster Seat YES Test, Calgary Health Region)
17
Using Seat Belts
For
safety’s
sake…
!
Have your children
ride in the back seat.
Even after children
have outgrown car and
booster seats, it’s safest
if they stay in the back
seat until they’re 13.
Children should be 13
before they sit in a seat
with an active front
airbag.
18
W
hen a child outgrows the height and weight limits of the booster
seat, they may be ready to use a regular seat belt. There’s no
rush to move to a regular seat belt.
145 cm
(4 ft. 9 in.)
Children are ready for a seat belt when:
l They are AT LEAST 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall or have a seated height of
74 cm (29 in.).
l The lap belt fits low across their hips.
l The shoulder belt fits across the middle of their chest. It should NOT be
across the child’s neck, behind the back, or under the arm.
l They are tall enough for their legs to bend over the edge of the seat
while they are sitting up straight.
l They can sit with their back flat against the seat without slouching.
(Adapted from Take the Booster Seat YES Test, Calgary Health Region)
19
To Find Out More
For more information and resources on car
seat safety:
Child Safety Link, IWK Health Centre
phone: (902) 470-6496 or
1-866-288-1388 (toll free)
e-mail:[email protected]
website:www.childsafetylink.ca
The Co-operators Insurance: Buckle Up Bears
Program
website: http://www.cooperators.ca/. Click on “About Us, Community”, then
“Buckle Up Bears”
Atlantic Car Seat Safety – find us on Facebook.
Post your questions.
For product advisories or recalls of car seats:
Website: www.tc.gc.ca
Search for “Child Restraint Notices”
phone: 1-800-333-0371 (toll free)
20
This booklet was produced by Child Safety Link in collaboration with Public Health Services and the Department of Health
and Wellness.
We’d like to thank the staff, parents and beautiful children of the Chebucto Family Centre, in Spryfield, Nova Scotia, and
Child Safety Link for posing for the pictures that illustrate this booklet.
Aussi disponible en français
March 2013
Partners in Children’s Safety
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