Help the Government of Canada organize its website!

Complete an anonymous 5-minute questionnaire. Start now.

Keep Kids Safe

Keep Kids Safe

About this section

This section shows you how to keep your kids as safe as possible in your car, mini-van or pickup truck. Every year in Canada, about 10,000 children (from infants to 12-year olds) are hurt or killed on the roads. The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening, is to make sure your children are always buckled-up properly while in the car, even for short trips. And remember, the back seat is always the safest place for your children.

This information will help you do four things:

  1. Learn about the four stages of child safety in vehicles.
  2. Choose the stage that is right for your child.
  3. Correctly install a child seat in your car.
  4. Safely buckle up your child in a child seat or with a seat belt.

About the Four Car Time Stages

Stage 1. Baby in child seat. Stage 1: Rear-facing seats are placed at a 45-degree angle so that your baby’s head is supported. This makes it easier for them to breathe. A snug harness will keep your baby safe in a sudden stop or crash. Keep your child in the rear-facing seat for as long as they are still in the weight/height range of the seat itself.
Stage 2. Girl in child seat. Stage 2: Forward-facing seats have harness straps that are narrower than a vehicle seat belt and fits children's small shoulders.

As long your child is still in the weight/height range of the seat itself, you can still safely use the child seat.
Stage 3. Boy in child seat. Stage 3: Booster seats are designed to allow children to use seat belts who no longer need forward-facing seats. The booster seat positions a child properly so that the seat belt is correctly located on the lap and shoulder.
Stage 4. Girl wearing seat belt. Stage 4: Seat belts are used when children are tall enough to use a seat belt that is properly positioned over their lap and shoulder without needing a booster seat.

Choose the stage that is right for your child (1, 2, 3 or 4?)

This chart shows the weight range of children recommended for all four Car Time Stages based on child seats and booster seats sold in stores today. All child seats are different. Make sure you read the label on the child seat carefully; to make sure your child fits the weight and height range of the child restraint – BEFORE YOU BUY IT.

It is safest to keep your child in each stage for as long as possible

Car Time Stages

Car Time Stages

There are four Car Time Stages. The right stage for your child depends on their weight and height.

Buying a child seat or booster seat - Checklist

  • Use the chart to find out which stage is correct for your child and what type of child seat they need.
  • Make sure your child fits the weight and height limits of the child seat you are thinking of buying.
  • Make sure your child fits in the child seat, place them in the child seat and make sure they are comfortable.
  • Make sure that the car seat can be installed properly in your vehicle.
  • Send in the product registration card after you buy the child seat so you will receive notice of any recalls.