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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Rear Facing Car Seats

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of injury-related deaths among children and youth. A correctly installed car seat will decrease the chance of a child being killed or injured in a crash by up to 75%. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends children rear face until 2 years old or until they no longer meet the weight or height limit of the seat. Children are 75% less likely to be killed or injured when rear facing in the vehicle.1

Don't rush to move your child into a forward facing car seat. The best practice is to keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Young children are safest rear facing.
 

For all car seats

  • Always read the manufacturer's instructions before using the car seat 
  • Keep the instructions with the seat so they can be used as the infant grows
  • Make certain that the car seat is the right height and weight for your child
  • Must have the National Safety Mark
  • A car seat purchased in the United States is not legal to use in Canada
  • Mail the warranty card or register the car seat online so that the car seat manufacturer will contact you if a safety issue is found with the seat

Tips for Securing Your Child
in the Infant Car Seat

  • Do not place anything underneath the infant in the car seat (extra material can compress in a collision and make the harness loose)
  • Read more about Infant Car Seat Winter Safety
  • The harness should be level with or below the infant’s shoulders in the rear facing position
  • Read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to adjust the harness
  • The harness should be snug so that one finger fits between the harness and the infant’s collar bone
  • You should not be able to pinch a fold in the harness if it is tight
  • The chest clip should be at arm pit level
  • The harness strap covers may need to be removed to get the chest clip in the proper position

Tips for Securing the Infant Car Seat
in the Vehicle

  • Choose a seating position that does not have an active air bag
  • The seat belt or the UAS can be used to secure the base of the car seat in the vehicle
  • The car seat should not move more than 1” (2.5cm) from side to side
  • The infant car seat should be at a 45 degree angle to prevent the infant’s head from falling forward
  • The base of the car seat can be adjusted to make the 45 degree angle
  • Always check that the infant car seat is secured in the base
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct position of the car seat handle when travelling in the vehicle

Infant-Child Car Seat

Please note: It is okay to keep using the infant seat if the infant's legs are longer than the car seat. It is time to move the infant from the infant seat to the infant child seat when:

  • the infant has outgrown the weight of the infant car seat, or
  • the infant has outgrown the height limit (there is less than 1 inch (2.5cm) of space between the top of the car seat and the top of the infant’s head)
 
Date of creation: February 21, 2013
Last modified on: April 6, 2018

Infant Car Seat

Infant Car Seat
 
 

Universal Anchorage System (UAS)

Universal Anchorage System (UAS)

A child car seat must be secured with the vehicle seat belt or the UAS,
not both.

Infant-Child Car Seat  

Infant-Child Car Seat
 

Health Connection

Call Health Connection to speak with a Public Health Nurse from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2280
  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 
 
 

References

1Infant & Toddler Safety Association (2017). Before you turn the key: Everything you wanted to know about transporting young children, but didn’t know you needed to ask. Kitchener, ON: The Infant & Toddler Safety Association.
2Ontario Ministry of Transport (2015)Install a Child Car Seat Retrieved from
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/install-child-car-seat.shtml