Stage 3: Booster Seats

Boy in child car seat.Don’t hurry to move your child to a booster seat. Your child must weigh at least 18 kg (40 lbs) and meet the height guidelines in your booster seat user guide.

As long as your child still fits within the weight and height ranges for his or her forward-facing seat, it is safest to use that seat as long as possible.

How to Install Your Booster Seat

Always install the booster seat in the back seat of your car. This way, your child is as far away as possible from the front seat air bags if they inflate during a crash.

There are different ways to install a booster seat. Read your car owner’s manual and booster seat user guide to learn how. A correctly installed booster seat should keep the lap and shoulder belts in place across your child’s hips, chest and shoulders.

Note: If you are using a low-backed booster, the vehicle MUST have adjustable head restraints. They will protect your child's head and neck in a crash.

How to buckle up your children the right way

Boy in child car seat.

Booster Back
If your booster seat has a back, make sure the middle of your child’s ears are lower than the top of the back of the booster seat.

Seat Belt Guide
If there is a seat belt guide, it should be at or above your child’s shoulder.

Shoulder Belt
Make sure the shoulder belt rests on your child’s shoulder, and never on the neck or arm, or under the arm.

Lap Belt
The lap belt should be snug against your child’s hips, and not on their stomach.

Important tips:

  • Always use a lap belt and a shoulder belt with a booster seat.
  • Always buckle up an empty booster seat (or take it out of your vehicle) so it doesn’t bounce around in the back seat when not in use.
  • Leave as much space as possible between the booster seat and the front seat of your vehicle.
  • Items that did not come with your new booster seat may not be safe to use. Contact the booster seat manufacturer and ask if these items are safe to use with your new car seat. 

When should you move your child from a booster seat to a seat belt?

Please check with your provincial/territorial law as to when your child can move to a seat belt.

Remember: As long as your child still fits within the manufacturer’s weight and height limits, he or she is safer in a booster seat.

Keep Kids Safe - Stage 3: Booster Seats (PDF Format - 290 KB)

Also available in:

To view PDF documents you must use Adobe® Acrobat Reader. Visit the Adobe site to download the latest, free version.