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January 25, 2012

Child Car Seat Manufacturers Must Meet Stricter Safety Requirements

Car seat manufacturers must now meet stricter testing requirements aimed to increase safety for children. Some of the updates align with rules in the U.S., and some are specific to Canada.

Transport Canada lists the major changes in a recent news release:

  • a new testing requirement using a three-point seatbelt to secure car seats;
  • changes to the seats’ dynamic testing to adopt most U.S. parameters;
  • changing the definition of an infant to any child weighing up to 10 kg, rather than nine kg;
  • increasing the maximum weight limit of child seats to 30 kg from 22 kg;
  • introducing dynamic testing requirements for booster seats;
  • allowing harnesses to be used on school buses by special-needs children.

Parents are encouraged to be aware of the guidelines for child car seats. Appropriate size, manufacture date, and proper installation are all important considerations. Transport Canada has a Keep Kids Safe web page with more information: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-time-stages-1083.htm.

The news release says there’s no need to replace a car seat now that these updated requirements are in effect. But parents are urged to buy a new one if their child’s car seat has been involved in a collision, or if the seat’s materials are damaged.

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Author - Aimee King

Aimee joined Slater Vecchio LLP in February 2007. Aimee has represented clients in both the Provincial and the Supreme Courts of British Columbia.