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:
Using a child safety seat properly will reduce the likelihood of a child being injured or killed in a crash by as much as 75%.
Your baby must be in a rear-facing seat that is correct for her weight and height when in a vehicle. It is safest for a baby to stay rear-facing until at least 1 year old, at least 10 kg (22 lb) and walking. Don’t rush to put your child in a forward-facing seat -- the rear-facing position is the safest. Many child safety seats allow children to stay rear-facing longer.
When your child is at least 1 year old, at least 10 kg (22 lb), and walking, your child can use a forward-facing seat. Keep your child in a forward facing seat correct for his height and weight until he is at least 18 kg (40 lb) or until he is at least 6 years old. Some forward-facing seats may be used with the 5 point harness up to 30 kg (65 lb).
When your child has outgrown her forward-facing child safety seat she can use a booster seat. Children who are under 9 years of age and have outgrown their forward-facing seat, who weigh between 18 and 36 kg (40 and 80 lb) or are less than 145 cm (4’ 9”) are safest travelling in a booster seat. 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.
All child safety seats must be held in place with a seat belt or with the Universal Anchorage System (UAS). Every vehicle is different so you need to check the vehicle owner’s manual for how to use the UAS in your vehicle. All forward-facing child safety seats must also be secured with a top tether strap. Follow all installation instructions that come with the seat. Once you have attached the child safety seat to the vehicle seat, pull the straps tight enough so that the seat moves less than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in any direction.
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 child safety seat inspector! Do it right every time.
For other resources, see: Alberta Occupant Restraint Program Alberta Transportation (search for Children and Teens)Car Seats (Parachute: Preventing Injuries. Saving Lives.)Car Safety and KidsHealthy Canadians
Last Revised: April 17, 2013
Author: Injury Prevention and Safety, Alberta Health Services
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