How long are child car seats and booster seats safe?

All child car seats and booster seats sold in Canada have an expiry date on them. Manufacturers give an expiry date because over time:

  • frequent use and exposure to sunlight can damage and weaken plastic
  • labels that explain safe use may fade or become hard to read
  • instruction manuals are often lost
  • food, drinks, cleaners and spilled items may stop the webbing, buckles, adjusters and other parts from working safely
  • the history or condition of the seat becomes hard to check (such as whether it was in a crash, or was stored in a way that damaged it)
  • safety standards have changed so safer products may be on the market
  • second or later owners may not get safety recall notices

You should not use child car seats and booster seats past their expiry date. You should dispose of seats with expired dates. Do not give the seats to friends or relatives, donate them to charities, or sell them second hand.

Note: If a seat was made before January 1, 2012, it may be illegal to advertise, sell, or give it away because it may not meet the latest safety standards. For information on the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, please contact Health Canada:

Public Enquiries

Health Canada, Ottawa

Telephone: 613-957-2991
Telephone Canada and U.S. only: 1-866-662-0666

In Canada, all provinces and territories require that infants and toddlers be buckled up in the appropriate child car seat. Several provinces also require booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for a regular seat belt.

Provincial and territorial laws also require that the child car seats and booster seats meet Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and are used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you don't follow instructions on use, or use a seat with an expired date, you may be risking your child’s safety. You may also be found guilty of breaking the law.

We strongly advise parents and caregivers to contact the manufacturer directly to find the expiry dates for their products.

TP 14563 - Consumer Information Notice
Child Restraint Systems
2011-C01 E
Updated: February 11, 2018
View archived version

Contact Transport Canada's Motor Vehicle Safety

Telephone: 1-800-333-0371 (toll-free), 613-998-8616 (Ottawa region or international) 
Email: mvs-sa@tc.gc.ca

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