Updated child car seat safety regulations come into force
For release - December 29, 2011
OTTAWA — The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that updated child car seat safety regulations come into force on January 1, 2012.
"As a mom, I want to have confidence that my child is secured in the safest car seat available," said Minister Aglukkaq. "When these new regulations come into force on January 1, child car seats sold in Canada will meet Canada's highest testing standards and therefore will be as safe as possible."
The updated regulations are part of a regular process of reviewing child safety standards while using the most up-to-date technology available for testing. The updates include aligning elements with those in the United States and incorporating specific Canadian testing requirements. The major changes include:
- a new testing requirement using a three-point seatbelt to secure car seats in vehicles;
- changes to child seats' dynamic testing to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters;
- changing the definition of an infant from 9 kg to 10 kg;
- an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg to 30 kg;
- introducing dynamic testing requirements for booster seats; and
- allowing harnesses to be certified for use on school buses by special needs children.
"Today's demonstration was a good reminder for Canadian parents to make sure that their child's car seat is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions and to ensure that their child is buckled in correctly every time," added Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa—Orléans.
Parents should be aware of the guidelines for child seats, ensure that their child is in the seat appropriate for his or her size, and ensure that seats are installed and used properly. More information can be found on Transport Canada's Keep Kids Safe Web page at www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-time-stages-1083.htm.
There is no need to replace a child seat as a result of these new standards. However, a child car seat should be replaced if it was installed in a vehicle involved in a collision. If the shell or materials on the seat are ripped or damaged, it should be replaced. Parents should also check the expiry date of the seat and be sure to replace it when it reaches that date.
These new regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on May 12, 2010, giving manufacturers ample lead time to ensure that there were no supply disruptions to consumers while any necessary changes were made to meet the new regulations as of January 1, 2012. Given that previous regulations have provided a high level of safety for children for many years, current child car seats will continue to provide excellent protection throughout their useful life.
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Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations
Transport Canada regulates the manufacture and importation of child car seats under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations, and provides general recommendations on the use of child car seats and how to secure your child in a child car seat. Provincial and territorial laws require that children be secured in vehicles with an appropriate child restraint or booster cushion.
The Government of Canada has committed to implementing unprecedented and world-leading test standards for child car seats. The proposed new regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 10, 2009, followed by a 45-day comment period. The final regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on May 12, 2010, with a final effective date of December 31, 2010.
On September 21, 2010, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) requested that the department provide an extension of six to 12 months to complete the redesign and retooling, and a further three months to manufacture and distribute product to retailers.
Transport Canada requested manufacturers provide more specific information on the restraint systems and booster seats that are unable to comply with the new regulations. On October 23, 2010, the JPMA provided more specific information regarding its issues. The JPMA has surveyed its members and, based on testing performed to date, estimated that 55 to 60 per cent of all rear-facing models now in the Canadian marketplace would be unavailable in 2011, as currently designed products did not meet the new requirements.
On December 2, 2010, the Government of Canada announced an amendment that extended the transition period of the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations to December 31, 2011. The original mandatory implementation date was January 1, 2011, and the new mandatory date is January 1, 2012.
The Government of Canada provided a 12-month extension period to child seat manufacturers that allowed them additional time to complete the redesign, testing and certification of their child seats to conform with the new Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations.
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