. If your child outgrows the rear-facing seat before one year of age, switch to a convertible car seat that can be used rear-facing up to a higher height and weight limit.
Forward-Facing Car Seats:
. Use a forward-facing car seat until your child reaches the height or weight limit, usually at 40-48 lbs (18-22 kg) or 40-47 inches (102-119 cm).
. Always use a tether strap when using a forward-facing car seat.
. When your child outgrows the forward-facing seat, move him or her to a booster seat.
. Seat belts are made to fit adults, not children. Use a booster seat until your child fits the seat belt safely. A booster seat positions the seat belt over the right places on the child's body.
. To check that the seat belt fits correctly, the shoulder belt should go over your child's shoulder and across the middle of his or her chest, and should not touch the neck. The lap belt should fit low over the hip bones, under your child's belly area. Your child's knees should bend comfortably over the edge of the vehicle seat.
Other Tips to Keep Kids Safe:
. Always put children 12 years old and under in the back seat of a vehicle.
. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing a car or booster seat.
. Install rear- or forward-facing car seats using the seat belt or LATCH anchors so that the car seat cannot move to either side more than 1 inch (2.5 cm).
. Tighten the harness; there should only be one finger's space between your child's collarbone and the harness.
. Position the car seat's chest clip at armpit level on your child's chest.
. When using a forward-facing seat always use a tether strap.
. Never put a car seat in a front seat that has an air bag.
. Use a lap and shoulder belt with a booster seat. The car seat belt keeps the child in place.
For more information, visit www.safekidscanada.ca or call1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847). Safe Kids Canada is the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).