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Car Time - Stage 1: Safe Travel in a Rear-facing Infant Seat

TP 14337E
ISBN 0-662-39337-6
Cat. T46-29/1-2005E
Revised March 2006



 
Babies have weak neck and back muscles that need extra support when traveling in a vehicle. A rear-facing infant seat will support your baby's head and neck in a sudden stop or a crash. Be sure you use a rear-facing infant seat that fits your baby's weight and height. Use it correctly in the rear-facing position, in the back seat, every time your baby rides in the car. 

Rear-facing infant seats are available as infant- only seats, infant/child seats, or infant/child/ booster seats.

Infant/Child Seat

Infant-only seat An infant-only seat is designed only for use as a rear-facing infant seat.

An infant/child seat or an infant/child/booster seat can be used as a rear-facing infant seat. Later, these seats can be used as forward-facing child seats when it is the right time to have the child ride facing the front of the vehicle. See Car Time – Stage 2 for more information about forward facing child seats.

Rear-facing infant seats have different upper weight limits. Check the label on the rear-facing infant seat for the weight and height that are allowed by the manufacturer.



safety tip

Don't be in a hurry to start using a forward-facing child seat. The longer you use a rear-facing infant-only seat, infant /child seat, or infant/child/booster seat that fits correctly, even past your baby's first birthday, the safer your baby will be in a crash. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and check the label for the weight and height that are allowed.



Choosing a rear-facing infant seat for your baby
  • Weigh your baby.
  • Measure your baby's height or length.
  • Check the label to be sure the seat will fit your baby's weight and height.
  • A rear-facing infant-only seat is a good choice for a smaller baby, or a newborn.
  • An infant/child seat used in the rear-facing position is a good choice for a taller or heavier baby.
  • Make sure that the rear-facing seat fits well in the back seat of your vehicle.
Choosing a rear-facing infant seat for your baby


Securing your baby in a rear-facing infant seat
  • Read the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner's manual to learn how to install a rear facing infant seat in your vehicle.
  • Always put a rear-facing infant seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • Never put a rear-facing infant seat in the front passenger seat.
  • If your vehicle has side air bags, see the Transport Canada fact sheet on How to Read the instructions that came with your baby's car seat.
Securing your baby in a rear-facing infant seat
  • Install the harness straps using the slot positions that are at or slightly below your baby's shoulders.
  • Buckle your baby into the seat.
    • Make sure the harness straps are fastened tightly. They hold your baby in the seat.
    • “Tightly” means only one finger fits between the harness strap and your baby at the collarbone.
.
  • The chest clip should be positioned at the armpit level to hold the harness straps in place
  • Check where the top of your baby's head lies on the back of the seat.
    • If the top of your baby's head is less than 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top of the seat, a bigger seat is needed.
    • If there is a sunshade or canopy attached to the handle of the infant-only seat, the sunshade must not be used in the car.
    • Install the rear-facing infant seat with the Universal Anchorage System (UAS) or with the seat belt.
Installing a rear-facing infant seat
  • Read the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner's manual to learn how to install a rear facing infant seat in your vehicle.
  • Always put a rear-facing infant seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • Never put a rear-facing infant seat in the front passenger seat.
  • If your vehicle has side air bags, see the Transport Canada fact sheet on How to Protect Children in Vehicles with Side Air Bags.
  • Put the handle of the infant-only seat in the position recommended by the manufacturer.
Installing with UAS
  • Car seats manufactured after September 1, 2002 have two UAS connectors that attach to the UAS anchor bars in newer vehicles.
  • Check the vehicle owner's manual for the seating positions that can be used with UAS.
  • You may need to thread the UAS webbing strap through the infant/child seat or the base of the infant-only seat.
  • Attach the two UAS connectors to the UAS anchor bars and tighten the strap.
  • The rear-facing infant seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) from side to side or forward.
UAS with the base of an infant only seat .
 

safety tip

Items not provided by the car seat manufacturer such as liners, trays, or comfort straps may interfere with the safety of the seat. Check with the car seat manufacturer before using these products with the baby's car seat.



Installing with a seat belt
  • Thread the seat belt webbing through the path as shown in the infant seat instructions.
  • Buckle the seat belt and make sure it is tight. The seat belt keeps your baby's seat in place in the vehicle.
  • The rear-facing infant seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) from side to side or forward.


safety tip With some vehicles, you will need to use a locking clip with the seat belt to hold a rear-facing infant seat securely in place. Read the vehicle instructions for installing children's car seats. seat belt


Using the infant seat outside the vehicle

Some infant seats are also used to hold or carry a baby outside the vehicle. Make sure you keep the harness fastened correctly whenever your baby is in the seat.

  • Do not use the infant seat if your baby is bigger than the height or weight printed on the label.
  • When you use an infant seat outside the vehicle, the seat can tip over easily when the baby moves.
  • Place the infant seat on or close to the floor.
  • Make sure nothing will fall on your baby.
  • Never leave your baby unattended.


safety tip The use of an infant car seat as a crib outside the vehicle has resulted in death when the infant became tangled in the straps and strangled. An infant car seat should never be used as a crib.


When to replace a rear-facing infant seat

  • If there was a crash and the rear-facing infant seat was in the car at the time. You should do this even if your baby was not riding in the seat during the crash.
  • When the car seat has reached the expiry date.

Fill out and mail the registration card that comes with your child's car seat. If there is a recall, the company will be able to contact you.



Contact Us:

For questions about your car seat, please contact the manufacturer. For more information or to order more copies of this publication, contact:

Transport Canada at: 1-800-333-0371, by email: mvs-sa@tc.gc.ca

Health Canada at: (613) 952-1014, by fax: (613) 941-4376 or by email: cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca



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