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Child Car Seat Safety

Helping to Keep Kids Safe

BCAA Child Passenger Safety Program provides information and resources to keep your children safe while travelling on BC roads. Child car seats and seat belts work best when they are used correctly. As children grow and change, the type of protection system required also changes.

Providing Info for Parents
Information for Parents

Information about which child car seat to choose and videos on how to correctly install your child's car seat and secure your child correctly.

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Resources for Educators
Child Passenger Safety Educator

A Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Educator is a community leader with specialized training on how to keep child passengers safe. They are a valuable community resource for: parents, schools, public health, police and other groups in their community. CPS Educators support CPS education in many ways including: information sessions, hands-on workshops, instructional clinics, public awareness campaigns and many other initiatives.

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Community Child Car Seat Program
Community Child Car Seat Program

BCAA Community Child Car Seat Program provides child car seats to eligible non-profit agencies and community groups throughout BC. Working in partnership with the United Way, BCAA has provided over 8,000 child car seats to children and families who otherwise may have gone without.

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Choose the Right Car Seat for your Child

As children grow and change, the type of protection system required also changes. 


Less than 1 year old

Until 1 year of age your child must use a rear-facing child car seat when traveling in a car, van or truck.

Rear-facing child car seats support and protect the child’s head and spine in the event of a crash. A rear-facing child seat must never be used in a front passenger seating position that has an active air bag. Death or serious injuries can occur if the air bag inflates.

1-4 years old

Keep your child in a rear-facing child car seat as long as possible and avoid moving your child forward-facing too soon. A rear-facing child seat that is appropropriate for their weight and height decreases the chance of your child being injured.

If your child is between 1 and 4 years old, you have more choices for the type of child car seat to use. The best protection for your child in this stage depends mostly on your child’s weight

4-9 years old

If your child is between 4 and 9 years old, the type of restraint system that will provide the most protection depends on the child’s weight and height.

Over 9 years old

Although the law allows children over 9 years old to use the seat belt, the best protection for your child depends on their height.

Learn more about Infant-only Seats

Learn more about Rear-facing child Seats

My child weighs less than 9kg

All children less than 10 kg (22lb) must be secured in a rear-facing child car seat when traveling in a car, van or truck.


Learn more about Infant-only Seats

Learn more about Rear-facing child Seats

My child weighs less than 18kg (40lb)

Children less than 18 kg (40lb) must continue to use a forward-facing child car seat with harness straps.

Learn more about Forward-facing Child Car Seats

My child is less than 146 cm (4'9") tall

If your child is under 145 cm (4’9″) they are probably too short to use the seat belt alone. In this case the best protection for your child is to use a booster seat.


Learn more about Booster Seats

My child weighs between 10 kg (22 lb) to 20.4 kg (45 lb)

You should keep your child rear-facing as long as possible in a child seat that is appropriate for this weight range. The two factors that will prevent you from keeping your child rear-facing are:

Your child weighs more than the child car seat weight limit for rear-facing

Your child’s head is within 2.5 cm (1 “) of the top of the child seat


Learn more about Rear-facing Child Seats

Learn more about Forward-facing Child Seats

My child weighs over 18 kg (40lb) and is under 145 cm (4'9") in height

If your child weighs over 18 kg (40 lb) and is under 145 cm (4’9”) they can either be in a harnessed forward-facing child seat or a booster seat when traveling in a vehicle. It is recommended that children under four years old remain in a harnessed forward-facing child seat.

Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder seat belt, even if that means the child must sit in the front passenger seat. Children take priority over adults in using a lap and shoulder seat belt. If your child needs to sit in the front passenger seat, move the vehicle seat as far back as it will go so the child is more than 30 cm (12″) away from the dash or an active air bag.

If your vehicle only has lap seat belts available, the booster seat cannot be used.  In this case your child must be secured in the lap seat belt without a booster seat. Using a booster seat with only a lap belt is more dangerous than using the lap belt alone.


Learn more about Forward-facing Child Seats

Learn more about Booster Seats

My child is over 146 cm (4'9") tall

If your child is over 145 cm (4’9″) they can use the lap and shoulder seat belt without a booster seat. Children must use a lap and shoulder seat belt if one is available, even if that means the child must sit in the front passenger seat. Children take priority over adults in using a lap and shoulder seat belt.

If you need to use the front passenger seat for your child, make sure the seat is as far back as possible from the dash or an active air bag.

Learn more about Seat Belts

My child weighs between 18 kg (40lb) and 30 kg (65lb)

At this weight range your child can either be in a harnessed forward-facing child seat or in a booster seat. It is recommended that children under four years old remain in a forward-facing child seat with harness straps.


Learn more about Forward-facing Child Seats


Learn more about Booster Seats

My child is over 146 cm (4'9") tall

If your child is over 145 cm (4’9″) tall, they can use the lap and shoulder seat belt without a booster seat. Children must use a lap and shoulder seat belt if one is available, even if that means the child must sit in the front passenger seat. Children take priority over adults in using a lap and shoulder seat belt.

If you need to use the front passenger seat for your child, make sure the seat is as far back as possible from the dash or an active air bag

Learn more about Seat Belts

My child weighs over 30 kg (65lb)

At this weight your child can be secured in a booster seat using the lap and shoulder seat belt in your car, van or truck.

Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder seat belt, even if that means the child must sit in the front passenger seat. Children take priority over adults in using a lap and shoulder seat belt. If your child needs to sit in the front passenger seat, move the vehicle seat as far back as it will go so the child is more than 30 cm (12″) away from the dash or an active air bag.

If your vehicle only has lap seat belts available, the booster seat cannot be used.  In this case your child must be secured in the lap seat belt without a booster seat. Using a booster seat with only a lap belt is more dangerous than using the lap belt alone.


Learn more about Booster Seats

Installing a child car seat and securing your child

Now it's time to properly install the child car seat in your vehicle and correctly secure your child.

Resources

Instructional Car Seat Clinics and Workshops

Individual sessions for all child car seat users. These are learning sessions done in the vehicle only. You will be guided to install your own seat in your own vehicle. These sessions teach the the correct use of a child car seat and BC laws.

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Community Contacts

This printable PDF file includes contacts in your local community of people involved with Child Passenger Safety clinics and workshops

Download List
 

Birth to 1 Year 

 

 

Download

 

Over 1 Year  

 

 

Download

 

Under 9 Years 

 

 

Download

 

9 Years and Over  

 

 

Download

 

Getting Your Child to Use a Booster Seat

 

 

Download

 

Choosing the Right Child Car Seat - Brochure 

 

 

Download 

 

Buying a Used Child Car Seat 

 

 

Download

 

Are You Using the Right Car Seat for Your Child? – Poster 

 

 

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