Precious cargo

Here’s what you need to know about your baby’s first car seat

Photo: © moswyn

Becoming a parent for the first time requires many important decisions, including selecting a car seat that will carry your precious cargo safely.

According to a 2018 survey, nearly six out of 10 parents compare features of car seat brands, read reviews and ratings online before making this decision. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when buying your first car seat. 


  • Don’t take a hand-me-down car seat or purchase a used one. It could be expired or about to expire, may have been recalled, or even have been in a previous accident.
  • Don’t cross-border shop for a car seat. Laws and safety standards differ, and the use of car seats bought outside the country are prohibited in Canada.


  • Do take your car and its manual with you. Try installing a demo seat to make sure it fits properly within your vehicle.
  • Do find a local certified car seat technician, car seat clinic or St. John Ambulance location to have your installation technique verified. Ask questions of the experts.
  • Do look at an infant car seat for early stages that has a special crash absorption zone to help absorb force in the event of a frontal collision.
  • Do look for a car seat designed to install easily.
  • Do register your seat with the manufacturer right after purchase to ensure you receive up-to-date information on recalls or issues.