The facts about child safety seats

ages-stages-kids-sept2015Proper installation saves lives

Child safety seats are the best form of protection you can provide for your children travelling in a vehicle. They are designed to protect little ones in case of an accident, and will significantly reduce the risk of injuries if installed properly.

And the correct installation of a child safety seat is vital. If you are having difficulty with this, take a look at the various instructional videos on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website (

“A correctly installed child safety seat greatly reduces the risk of a fatal injury to infants, toddlers, and children,” says Wayne Ross, an insurance expert with Aviva Canada.

Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and if you are not sure of your child safety seat’s condition, get it inspected. There are a number of Car Seat Installation Centres across Ontario that will inspect it for free.

Common installation mistakes include:

• Not placing the child safety seat in the right direction;

• Using a defective or broken safety seat;

• Using an expired child safety seat;

• Not using the right seat for your child’s age and size;

• Not properly securing the seat and having loose harness straps.

Caution with a used seat

If you are buying a second-hand car seat, get it inspected. Make sure it comes with all necessary straps and instructions for installation. Check for cracks, and make sure it has not expired past its useful life date. Also make sure the car seat has not previously been in an automobile accident.