Behaviours - Child Safety Seats

Infant Seats, Child Seats and Booster Seats

Child safety involves choosing a car seat that is adapted to a child's weight and height as well as its proper installation. Here is everything you need to know about infant seats, child seats, boosters seats and seat belts.

Infant Seats, Child Seats and Booster Seats

Infant or newborn seats

This type of seat is intended for newborns and infants who weigh up to at least 10 kg (22 lb).

Child seats

This type of seat is intended for children who weigh at least 10 kg (22 lb).

Booster seats

This type of seat is intended for children who weigh at least 18 kg (40 lb).

Infant seats — From birth until at least 10 kg (22 lb)

Before purchasing an infant seat

There is no age limit for using an infant seat. What matters is the child's weight and the maximum weight that the seat can support.

Before purchasing an infant seat, consult your vehicle owner's manual to know which type of seat is the most appropriate and how to install it on the back seat.

Installing an infant seat

  • The back seat's position should allow the infant seat backrest to be inclined at an angle of 45°.
  • You can adjust the angle of the backrest using the recline mechanism on the removable base.
  • If the infant seat does not have a recline mechanism, you can place a rolled-up towel or foam noodle under the seat.
  • These accessories should be installed where the vehicle seat's backrest meets the seat cushion.

Installing an infant seat with a detachable base

  1. First attach the base to the vehicle's seat using the universal anchorage system (UAS) or the seat belt.
  2. Tighten the UAS or the seat belt and make sure there is no slack. The seat or base should not move forward or backward or allow more than 2.5 cm side-to-side movement at the attachment points.

You can use a locking clip to adjust the length of the 3-point seat belt.

Check the instructions in the vehicle owner's manual.

Caution! If the vehicle's seat belts block only in the event of impact, it is absolutely necessary to install a locking clip.

  1. Secure the seat to the base. Make sure that the seat is always properly secured to the base when you place it in the vehicle. An audible click lets you know that the seat is locked into position.
  2. Fold the carry handle towards the back of the infant seat, unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer.

Placing an infant in a seat

  1. Thread the harness straps through the slots located at or slightly below the baby's shoulder level, so that they wrap around the shoulders.
  2. Adjust the straps as closely as possible to the baby's body.

There should be space for no more than one finger between the harness straps and the baby's collarbone.

  1. Insert the harness tongue(s) into the buckle.
  2. Adjust the chest clip at the baby's underarm level.

The baby's feet can safely touch the backrest of the vehicle's seat and the legs may be slightly bent.

Special precautions when using an infant carrier

Infant seats should be used only for travelling with an infant in a vehicle.

Infant seats should never be used as cribs, because they are not safe for sleeping.

During the first few months of life, an infant should not be left sitting in a car seat for trips lasting more than one hour at a time.

If you are making a long car trip, take frequent breaks to change positions and to hold the baby in your arms.

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Siège de nouveau-né

Infant seats – in French only

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Infant seats: for how long?

Until the child exceeds the weight limit for which the seat was designed. At that time, you should purchase a child seat that can face the rear of the vehicle.

Useful information

Infant seats: have your seat inspected

Visit a member of the Child car seat verification network. Inspections are free of charge.

If you would like a seat to be installed, some member auto centres may charge a nominal fee.

Child seats – Not before a child weighs at least 10 kg (22 lb)

Rear-facing installation

The seat's manual should indicate its height and weight limits for this type of installation.

As long as you follow instructions, rear-facing installation affords better protection to the child's head, neck and chest in the event of an impact.

Your child will be safer, even if his or her legs are touching the back of the vehicle seat.

Forward-facing installation

  1. Secure the tether strap at the top of the car seat to the vehicle's anchorage point installed or supplied by the vehicle manufacturer. The location of the tether anchors is indicated in the vehicle owner's manual.
  2. Secure the child seat with the UAS or the seat belt.

The seat belt should be threaded through the seat slots, according to the manufacturer's instructions, using the slots that are closest to the backrest of the vehicle's rear seat.

  1. Buckle the seat belt or attach the UAS and make sure there is no slack.
  2. Tighten the tether strap. Once the seat is installed, it should not move forward or backward or allow more than 2.5 cm side-to-side movement at the attachment points.

You can use a locking clip to adjust the length of the 3-point seat belt.

Check the instructions in the vehicle owner's manual.

Caution! If the vehicle's seat belts block only in the event of impact, it is absolutely necessary to install a locking clip.

Placing a child in a seat

  1. Thread the harness straps through the slots located at or slightly above the child's shoulder level.
  2. Insert the harness tongues into the buckle.
  3. Adjust the straps as closely as possible to the child's body.

There should be space for no more than one finger between the harness straps and the child's collarbone.

  1. Adjust the chest clip at the child's underarm level.

Child seats: for how long?

You must absolutely check in your vehicle owner's manual to find out the maximum weight that the UAS and the tether strap anchorage point can support.

If the combined weight of the seat and child surpasses the UAS weight limit, the child seat can usually be secured with the seat belt.

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Siège d'auto pour enfant face vers l'avant

Forward-facing child seat – in French only

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Booster seats – Not before 18 kg (40 lb)

The booster seat raises the child so that the seat belt can be correctly adjusted so that it crosses over the middle of the shoulder (collarbone) and over the hips.

You must purchase a booster seat with a built-in backrest if the back of the vehicle seat is low or does not have a headrest to support the child's head in the event of a rear-end collision.

Position of the booster seat and child: on the back seat

The back seat is the safest place in a vehicle to place a booster seat.

  1. The vehicle's seat belt (lap and shoulder belts) is all that is required to hold the seat and child in place. No additional straps should be used. However, some booster seats now come equipped with a UAS, which should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. When the seat belt is buckled, it should cross over the middle of the shoulder (over the collarbone) and over the hips. In the event of an accident, the shoulders and hips must absorb the impact.
  3. Be especially careful when your child is wearing winter clothing! Make sure the seat belt lies across the pelvic bones and on the collarbone. When the seat belt is buckled, it should be snug and have no slack.
Useful information

In the event of a collision, the child could be seriously injured.

Booster seats: for how long?

A child no longer needs a booster seat when both of the following conditions are met:

Condition 1 – When the child is sitting on the back seat

The child's back must be flat against the seat and his or her legs long enough that the knees are bent over the edge of the seat. The child must be able to hold this position comfortably for the entire trip.

Condition 2 – When the seat belt is fastened

The seat belt must cross over the middle of the child's shoulder (over the collarbone) and the hips. It should not cross over the neck or abdomen.

Transitioning to a seat belt

Children who are not tall enough and whose legs are too short to bend over the edge of the seat are not ready to wear a seat belt only. They should therefore continue to use a booster seat that suits their weight and height, even if their sitting height is 63 cm (25 inches) or more.

Children who are not tall enough to be properly restrained with a seat belt

Will tend to slide under the seat belt to get comfortable and keep their calves from resting on the edge of the seat.

In an accident, this could lead to serious injuries to the spine or internal organs because the seat belt is pressing against the abdomen rather than on the hips.

Useful information

Children aged 12 and younger: always in the back seat

This is the safest place for them, since they are seated as far away as possible from the points of impact in the event of a head-on collision.

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Siège d'appoint et ceinture de sécurité

Booster seats and seat belts – in French only

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