New Carseat Regulations: What You Should Know
There’s been a fair bit of buzz lately about new Transport Canada and Health Canada car and booster seat safety regulations. There’s also been a lot of confusion. Here’s a break down of the new regulations and how they may affect all of us who have kids or who drive them around.
As of January 1st, 2012 all car and booster seats bought and sold in Canada must meet the updated safety standards. You can read a full run-down of the new legislation on the Transport Canada website, but the major changes include new testing requirements using a three-point seatbelt to secure car seats in vehicles, changing the definition of an infant from 9 kg to 10 kg, an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats and adopting most of the U.S. testing parameters. Manufacturers were given from May 12, 2010 to meet the new regulations and while some complied immediately, others waited until the deadline.
What does this mean for parents & caregivers?
- The only way to know if the car seat you bought in 2010 or 2011 is compliant is to contact the manufacturer directly.
- If you own a car seat that hasn’t expired, and it complied with the previous 2011 standards, you can continue to use it.
- If you own a car seat that hasn’t expired, and it doesn’t comply with the new 2012 standards you cannot sell it or give it away
Keep in mind that the car or booster seat you bought last month (in December 2011) may not be compliant with the new regulations. You should contact the manufacturer to find out. If your seat is not compliant and you no longer wish to use it, you should look for a recycling program or facility in your area.
What does this mean for Used buyers and sellers?
These new regulations affect people buying and selling car and booster seats on the Used sites. To simplify things, we’ve removed all existing car and booster seat ads from our sites and have contacted the sellers directly. We’ve asked all sellers to contact the manufacturer to find out if the seat they’re selling is compliant and to repost the ad with the compliance information. We’ve also added an explanation in our car seat category to help inform buyers.
What should I look for when buying a used car or booster seat?
You want to pay careful attention when purchasing a used car seat. Here are some tips to consider:
- Does the car seat have a National Safety Mark?
- Is there an instruction booklet?
- Is the car seat appropriate for the development, weight and height of your child?
- If the car seat has an expiry date, will the time period cover your needs?
- Can the car seat be installed correctly in your vehicle?
- Are the harness and tether straps easy to adjust?
- Are all of the pieces present with the seat?
- Has the seat been the subject of any recalls?
- Ask the seller if the seat’s been in any collisions, however minor, or dropped from a height of three or more feet.
- Has the seller made any alterations, changed the routing of the straps or added any extra pieces?
- Read the helpful information on Transport Canada’s Keep Kids Safe page.
Parents and caregivers have always had to be vigilant when buying or selling a used car or booster seat — the rules are just a little different now. If you have any questions for us, please feel free to leave a comment.