Child car seats: the right way to install and use them

Car seats, vehicles and legislation on child restraints in vehicles are constantly changing. It makes it challenging for parents and caregivers to keep up with everything you need to know! Our car seat safety video series provides the most up-to-date information to help keep children safe while travelling.

Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death by preventable injury for Canadian children between ages one and nine. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, child car seats when used correctly reduce the risk of:

  • fatal injury by 71%
  • serious injury by 67%

Using a booster seat instead of just a seat belt reduces the risk of injury by 59%.

Car seats and booster seats: What you need to know

Start with this video to learn:

  • How to choose the right type of infant, toddler or child car seat or booster seat for your child based on their weight, height and stage of development
  • What to consider when buying a seat
  • When to change to the next stage of seat
  • The right way to dispose of used car seats

Stage 1: Rear-facing car seats

The first car seat an infant needs is a rear-facing seat. Watch this video to learn how to install and adjust rear-facing car seats, including:

  • How to install a rear-facing car seat using a seatbelt OR Universal Anchorage System (UAS)
  • Why you shouldn’t use extra padding
  • How to adjust the harness straps
  • How to set the recline angle correctly
  • When to switch from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat

Stage 2: Forward-facing car seats

If your child is ready to move to a forward-facing car seat, watch this video to learn:

  • How to install a forward-facing car seat using a seatbelt OR Universal Anchorage System (UAS)
  • How to adjust the harness straps
  • How to use the tether anchor
  • When to switch from a forward-facing seat to a booster seat

Stage 3: Booster seats

Booster seats are an important transition from car seats to using only the vehicle seatbelt. This video will help you understand:

  • How to position the child in the booster seat and use seatbelts properly
  • The difference between high-back and backless booster seats
  • How to know when a child has outgrown a booster seat
  • The six-point safety check that tells you when a child can use a vehicle seatbelt only

Have questions or need more information on child car seat safety? Visit the Infant and Toddler Safety Association online.

Find out what else we’re doing to help make the world a better place by taking care of the things that matter most.