It is one of those duties we perform once and then disappears off our radar; the installation of your child’s car seat. At Rainforest Daycare, we never take anything for granted and wanted to pass on some information to our parents regarding car seats. Typically, because our daycare locations are further out (Langley & Coquitlam), the drive for some parents may be further than in the city.
With some parents in our Langley Rainforest daycare being particularly close to the border, it can be tempting to do a lot of our shopping over the border. Purchasing certain items for the home, in most instances is fine, however certain items, like a car seat, should only be purchased in Canada.
The US & Canada have different regulations for testing of child and infant car seats. For a full description, visit here. Transport Canada carries out crash tests to monitor the existing regulations for child seats along with the gathering of in-vehicle crash evidence. The reason for this is to ensure that testing is strong and children are protected. In Canada, we have different road conditions, different automobile standards and different highway speeds.
Are you aware that on January 4th, 2012 new child restraint systems and booster seat requirements became mandatory?
A few (not all) of the differences in Canadian and US regulations include:
- The minimum weight requirement to use a booster seat remains 18kg in Canada, versus 13.6 kg in the US;
- The mandatory use of a tether strap for front-facing child seats;
- A unique booster deflection test’
- Energy absorbing material requirements.
Are you purchasing your car seat / infant seat used? Although we always recommend purchasing a car seat new, sometimes, this is just not in budget for everyone and simply is not possible. If you are purchasing a car seat second hand, ensure it is not past expiry. Also ensure that the car seat has not been dropped, been in a previous accident (you can only take ones word) or has any obvious signs of damage. A dropped or damaged car seat may deem the product ineffective, however check with the manufacturer.
When was the last time you had your car seat checked by a clinic to ensure it is installed correctly? You may also want to consider having the seat re-checked annually as shifting and bumping of objects etc. can occur. Here is a list of clinics.
As a daycare provider, we always try to share and pass on information that can assist in the safety of your child. For more information on car seat regulations and the differences between Canada and the US, click here or visit here.