March is occupant restraint safety month and one of the most important aspects of this is having properly installed car seats for infants, toddlers and young children. It is the driver of the vehicle who is legally responsible to ensure all passengers under the age of 16 are buckled correctly. The worst nightmare a person could have is a child dying because he or she wasn’t buckled up properly.
Rear facing car seat
For the youngest children a rear facing seat is required. However, Transport Canada recommends that even if a child is big enough to meet the provincial and manufacturers minimums for a front facing car seat, it is safer for the child to remain in the rear facing seat as long as possible.
Once a child has out grown a rear facing car seat the next step is a forward facing car seat. Like the rear facing car seat, Transport Canada encourages parents not to rush their children into the next level of seat which is a booster seat. The child is more fully protected in a forward facing seat than a booster seat.
Once a child is able to sit with his or her back against the seat (no slouching) and knees bending over the edge of the seat then they are ready to use a seat belt without a booster seat.
Of course a person should never put a car seat of any type in the front seat of a vehicle with airbags unless the airbags can be turned off.