On January 1st, 2012, new child restraint system and booster seat requirements became mandatory. A 19-month transition period allowed manufacturers to make the necessary design modifications to their seats and testing equipment while continuing to supply the Canadian market with restraint systems that provide a high level of safety.
These regulations were rewritten to align with the United States on many issues and to incorporate some new and unique Canadian testing requirements.
The new regulations ensure an appropriate minimum level of safety for children while using the most up-to-date technology available for testing.
What has changed?
a lap/shoulder seat belt testing requirement for all types of car seats, since lap/shoulder belts have been commonly found in most vehicles for several years;
changes to child seats’ dynamic testing to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters
changing the definition of an infant from up to 9 kg, to up to 10 kg;
an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg to 30 kg;
an introduction of dynamic testing requirements for booster seats;
extending the limitation on rebound to all rear facing child seats; and
the allowance of harnesses to be certified for usage on school buses for special needs children.
What is the Difference between Canada and the U.S.?
The need for labels, information, and instructions to be provided in both official languages;
The minimum weight requirement to use a booster seat remains at 18 kg (40 lbs.), versus 13.6 kg (30 lbs.) in the US;
The mandatory use of a tether strap for front-facing child seats;
A mandatory inversion test for both infant and child seats;
A unique booster deflection test;
The lap/shoulder seat belt testing requirement for all types of car seats;
The extension of the limitation on rebound to all rear facing child seats; and
Energy absorbing material requirements.
Rebound Control Mechanisms
I have a seat I bought before 2012. Can I still use it?
Yes. If your seat was purchased in Canada before 2012, but is not expired, has not been in a collision, and does not have any damage to the shell or materials it can still be used until its expiry.
All seats being used in Canada must possess the National Safety Mark. All non-expired Canadian seats will have this mark on them.
Why Do Car Seats Have Expiry Dates?
frequent use and exposure to sunlight can damage and weaken plastic;
safe-use labels on the products fade or become hard to read;
instruction manuals have likely been lost;
food, cleaners, drinks and other materials that have been spilled or used on webbing, buckles, adjusters and other parts may prevent them from working safely;
the history or condition of the car seat or booster cushion becomes hard to check (was it in a collision, was it stored in a place or in a way that caused damage to parts, etc.?);
safety regulations and standards may have changed, so improved products may now be on the market; and
second or subsequent owners may not get product safety recall notices if problems arise.
Can I sell/give away seats that do not meet the new standards?
It is important to note that if you own a car seat or booster seat made before January 1, 2012, under Health Canada’s Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, you may not be able to advertise, sell, or give it (including lending) away because it may not meet the latest requirements set out by Health Canada and Transport Canada.
The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) specifies in section 6. "No person shall manufacture, import advertise, or sell a consumer product that does not meet the requirements set out in the regulations."
Sell is further defined as
Sell: includes offer for sale, expose for sale or have in possession for sale — or distribute to one or more persons, whether or not the distribution is made for consideration — and includes lease, offer for lease, expose for lease or have in possession for lease. This includes distribution of a consumer product, when the product is donated or given away at no cost.
RF until at least 1 year, 10 kg (22 lbs.), walking unassisted
FF with harness until at least 18 kg (40 lbs.). Since 2007 seats available to 30 kg (65 lbs.)
Booster until seat belt fits. Commonly 36 kg (80 lbs.), 9 years of age, and 145 cm (4’9”)
When Should I turn my child Front Facing?
The longer a child can stay in each stage of car seat the better.
It is best practice to turn a child front facing once they have outgrown their rear facing seat.
Some infant seats now can accommodate up to a 35 lb. child. Some convertibles can accommodate up to 45 lbs.
I have a small vehicle what RF seats work best?
Its always a good idea to test a RF seat in your vehicle before purchase. Many infant carriers allow the handle to be up, saving space. Some smaller infant seats are:
By law a child must stay in a harnessed seat until they are at least 40 lbs.
Many Forward Facing seats now can accommodate a child to 65 lbs.
Again, it is best practice for a child to outgrow their forward facing seat before moving to a booster.
I have a tall child, which FF seat is best?
It is always a good idea to take your child shopping and fit them for a seat.
Some seats have higher FF shoulder slots than others. Have a look at the seats here today. Some tall seats are:
Booster to Seat Belt
A child should stay in a booster until they fit the seat belt of the vehicle they are in:
Does the child’s knees bend over the vehicle’s seat edge without the child slouching
Does the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt lay on the child’s hips and not across the stomach?
Does the shoulder portion lay across the shoulder, not against the neck?
Can the child sit in the proper position for the entire ride.
If any of the answers is No, the child should still be in a booster.
Some boosters now have upper weight limits of 120 lbs.
The average child is between the ages of 8-12 when they are ready for a seat belt in most vehicles.
The harness won’t tighten enough around my newborn.
I find it difficult to tighten the harness in my new convertible seat Rear Facing.
I can’t tighten the harness enough in my Forward Facing seat.
My Forward seat will not tighten evenly
I can’t get my seat tight in the vehicle.
Many Technicians were decertified last year due to not meeting the minimum amount of seats checked
It is a national standard that all technicians must send in at least 10 completed child restraint check sheets from January 1 to December 31.
The purpose of this standard is to ensure that technicians are using their skills and keeping them current.
If you are having problems getting your checks, please contact me and we can work together to get your checks.
Please see the link below for frequently asked questions about child passenger safety. If you require more information, please contact the program coordinator at (306) 651-4300 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.