Babies and children are uniquely vulnerable to injury during automobile accidents, and surveys show that many are not properly restrained in car seats or other devices. The Canadian government mandates many protections for children, including the use of only those car seats featuring the Canadian National Safety Mark. The government also recommends other safety precautions and offers educational car seat clinics nationwide.
Canada's Child Restraint Requirements
The Canadian government offers specific guidance on choosing and using child restraints, including car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Transport Canada gives instructions for using car seats, as well as provides car seat clinics that parents can attend to learn more about how to choose and use child safety restraints.
Can I Buy a Car Seat from the United States or Another Foreign Country?
It is illegal to import and use a car seat or booster seat that does not comply with Canadian safety standards. Because Canada has stricter safety requirements than the United States and many other countries, parents who use non-Canadian car seats often are violating the law and can be fined.
How to Know If Your Car Seat Is Legal in Canada
Like many countries, Canada has its own unique laws governing car seats and other safety restraints for children. Child car seats must meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. To ensure that your car seat meets those standards, look for the Canadian National Safety Mark, which features a maple leaf and the word "Transport." The government prohibits the purchase of car seats from other countries, which have different safety standards.
Other Safety Issues to Be Aware Of
In addition to the general installation and use guidance provided by Transport Canada, the agency also cautions against letting infants sleep in car seats or otherwise leaving them alone in their seats. The agency also warns against using car seats past their expiration dates and recommends registering new safety devices so consumers can receive notice of recalls.