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Child Car Seats

Car Seat Guidelines in Alberta

​​​​​​​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) or 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).

Booster seats

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

  1. Read the instructions that came with your car seat and the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  2. 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 educatio​nal resources available. You are the car seat inspector! Do it right every time.​

Current as of: May 2, 2017

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services