Chris' Corner

Childrens Car Safety

I was shocked to learn that the number one cause of death of Canadian children under 14 is Car Crashes!

What is even more alarming is that if these children were properly secured in the appropriate car seats or booster seats, there risk of severe injury would be greatly reduced.

My son, Alec, was involved in two car crashes before he was eighteen months old. My parents were on the Q.E.W in Mississauga when they were involved in a collision (they were rear-ended while completely stopped). Several occupants suffered minor injuries (whiplash, bruises etc) while my son slept through the accident. My parents took him to Creditview Hospital as a precautionary measure only to be told he suffered absolutely no injury. Of course, my parents had him properly belted in a five point harness facing the rear in his car seat (as was appropriate for a baby less than twenty pounds).

My wife was involved in a collision with a deer while taking Alec to daycare one morning. Again, in no small part, due to him being properly secured in a car seat appropriate for his age and weight, Alec suffered no injuries at all (unfortunately the same could not be said for our car nor the deer =(

Appropriate Car Seats, properly installed and secured will save the lives of Canadian children.

What is the proper car seat/booster seat configuration for your baby/child? In Canada, the ultimate source should be Transport Canada.

As of May 2011, our government mandates:

All babies from birth to 9 kg (~ 20 lbs) in weight be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat. For more Transport Canada information, click here

Stage One Car Seat

Toddlers between the weights of 9 kg and 18 kg (~ 20 to 40 lbs) can ride properly secured in a front-facing car seat. For more Transport Canada information, click here

Stage 2 Car Seat

If a child fails to meet any one of the following criteria:

  • less than eight years old
  • less than 36 kg (~80 lbs)
  • less than 145 cm tall (4'9" tall)

they must be properly secured in a booster seat when in a car. For more Transport Canada information, click here

Stage 3 Booster Seat

If a child meets any of the above criteria, they are permitted by law to be a passenger in a car (or minivan) properly secured using only a regulation seat-belt. For more information, click here

Stage 4 Seat Belt on left

What might not be general knowledge yet, is that Car Seats have a shelf life, to find out the recommended shelf life of a car seat, click here. Always replace a car seat that is secured in a car that has been in an accident, whether a child was in it, or not. For other helpful tips, click here

To find out where local Child Car Seat Clinics in Canada are being held, click here

Chris Smith CSSBB
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Comment balloon 4 commentsChris Smith • May 31 2011 08:45AM
Childrens Car Safety
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