According to the law in Alberta, the driver must make sure passengers under 16 years of age are buckled up correctly.
For children under 18 kg (40 lb) and under 6 years of age the law says:
- an appropriate child safety seat must be used
- the child safety seat must be correctly installed in the vehicle
- the child must be properly secured into the seat
Using a car seat properly will reduce the likelihood of a child being injured or killed in a crash by as much as 71%.
Types of Seats
Rear-facing car seats
A child is safest in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years old or reach the maximum weight or height limit for the rear-facing seat (as stated by the manufacturer).
Rear-facing car seats that have higher weight and height limits are preferred. They will keep a child in the safer, rear-facing position beyond age 2.
Don’t rush to put your child in a forward-facing seat -- the rear-facing position is the safest.
Forward-facing car seats
A child who is at least 2 years old or has reached the maximum weight or height limit of the rear-facing seat (as stated by the manufacturer) should ride in a forward-facing car seat.
A child should stay in the forward-facing car seat until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the seat (as stated by the manufacturer).
Some forward-facing seats may be used with the 5 point harness up to 30 kg (65 lb).
An adult seat belt alone does not properly fit a child’s body—it rides too high on the belly and neck. This can cause serious injuries in a crash. A booster seat helps the seat belt safely fit a child’s body.
Once a child has reached the maximum forward-facing weight or height limit of their car seat (as stated by the manufacturer), they should move into a booster seat.
A child is safest in a booster seat until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the seat (as stated by the manufacturer).
Make every ride a safe ride!
To help you make every ride a safe ride, do the following
- Read the instructions that came with your car seat and the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Take a Child Car Seat YES Test: rear-facing, pre-term or low birth-weight, forward-facing, or booster seat. These are self-check tools for choosing, installing, and using a car seat or booster seat.
As a parent or caregiver, you have the knowledge and skills to transport your child safely. There are also many educational resources available. You are the car seat inspector! Do it right every time.