Are you coming home from the hospital with your newborn? Or are you travelling with a young child? Your child must be secured in the appropriate child safety seat. It's the law.
If you are transporting children in your car, you must ensure their safety by complying with the Highway Safety Code.
As of April 2019, the Highway Safety Code requires that children be secured in a child safety seat that is appropriate for their weight and height until they are 145 cm tall or 9 years old.
We also recommend that all children aged 12 or younger be seated in the back seat of the vehicle.
Your little one must be secured in a rear-facing seat right from birth. It is recommended that you keep your child in this type of seat as long as possible.
To properly choose and install a rear-facing seat, see the section on choosing and using the right seat at the right time.
Your child can switch to a front-facing seat once he or she is at least two years old, but ideally you should wait until your child reaches the weight or height limits indicated for the rear-facing seat.
Note that you can—and are in fact encouraged—to continue using child seats with a five-point harness system even after the minimum requirement for no longer using them has been met (i.e. your child weighs 40 lbs (18 kg)).
To properly choose and install a front-facing seat, see the section on choosing and using the right seat at the right time.
Your child can switch to a booster seat once he or she weighs at least 18 kg (40 lbs), but ideally you should wait until your child reaches the weight or height limits indicated for the front-facing seat.
Although the law doesn’t prohibit children who are 9 years of age or older from sitting directly on a vehicle’s seat, they should continue to use a booster seat until they are at least 145 cm tall. It’s the best way to ensure their safety in a vehicle.
To properly choose and install a booster seat, see the section on choosing and using the right seat at the right time.
As soon as your child uses a booster seat—installed in the back seat—you must secure the seat and your child with the seat belt.
Do you know exactly how the seat belt should be positioned? This is important, because if it is incorrectly positioned, it could cause injuries in the event of an accident.
Find out how to use a seat belt for a child.
Airbags can be dangerous for children if you fail to comply with certain safety rules. See the section on airbags to find out more.
Last update: May 17, 2022