Car seat safety

A properly installed child car seat can help to keep your child safe.

Did you know that only 1 in 5 car seats is used correctly? Is yours?

By law (Ontario), drivers must make sure that their passengers under 16 years of age are secured properly in a child car seat or booster seat, or by a seat belt.

Installing and using a child car seat is not always easy.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has helped many parents install their own car seats. Below are links to information, videos, and car seat e-learning module that can help you install yours.  

Getting started

Before trying to install a seat, read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle owner’s manual. This will save you time and frustration and help you make sure the seat is installed correctly and safely.

Types of car seat (3 main stages):

1. Rear-facing seats:

At this stage, there are 2 designs—infant only seats and convertible seats, which are larger. Until children are 1 year old, weigh 22 pounds AND can walk without help, they must always face the rear of the vehicle. Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible: well past 1 year old. Watch a video about how to secure your baby in a rear-facing seat and correctly install it in your vehicle (Parachute Canada).

2. Forward-facing seats:

When children are 1 year old, weigh 22 pounds, and can walk without help, they can be in a forward-facing seat.  Public Health, however, recommends that children stay in rear-facing seats for as long as possible because they offer more protection. Watch this video about how to secure your child safely in a forward-facing car seat (Parachute Canada).

3. Booster seats:

The booster seat helps to keep the vehicle’s seat belt in the correct position across a child’s shoulder, middle of the chest and over the hips. Watch this video to see if your child is ready for a booster seat (Parachute Canada).

Still have questions? Keep reading and watch the videos below:

Quick car seat installation tips 

Remember that every child, every car seat, and every vehicle is different. Always follow the directions outlined in your vehicle and car seat manuals.  It is important to make sure you have the proper car seat for the age and stage of your child and that it is properly installed in your vehicle.

These videos will help you use your car seats safely and address your most common concerns.

How to tighten your car seat effectively

This video will demonstrate how to properly secure a car seat to your car. Using the proper body mechanics will make it easier and safer to install your car seat.

Properly harnessing your child in their car seat

Ensuring your child is properly tightened in their car seat is essential to their safety. This includes the proper placement of the chest clip and the pinch test.

Reviewing proper car seat installation

Here are the things to review with your car seat installation and to make sure it’s safe. This video presents the essential pieces needed to ensure your car seat is installed correctly.

Colder weather and winter months

This video will help you understand what your child can wear safely in their car seat during colder weather and why. Make sure what they wear will not affect their safety.

Car seat inspections:

For more information about car seat inspections, click here.

Still have questions? Access our e-learning module.

If you are a parent, or if you are an agency looking to educate parents and caregivers about car seat safety, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has created this Car Seat Safety e-Learning module to help. Car Seat Safety e-Learning module. Completion of this module does NOT certify you as a Child Passenger Safety Technician.

This module includes information adapted from:

Did you know that manufacturing companies can recall car seats? Please visit the recall list for child car restraints (Transport Canada) 

For more information:

This item was last modified on February 14, 2023