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Highway Safety Division

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Child Safety Seats (Booster Seats)

Booster seats are required by law as of January 1, 2008

Who needs a booster seat?

Children who:

  • weigh 18 kilograms (40 pounds) or more

  • under 10 years of age

  • are less than 145 centimeters tall (57 inches - 4 feet, 9 inches)

Why does my child need a booster seat?

Children outgrow a typical car seat when they weight 18 kg (40 lb.) – usually about 4 years old of age. At this age and weight, children are still too small for lap-shoulder belts to fit properly since the seat belt is designed to fit an adult body. As a result, children 4 to under 10 years of age have a higher rate of injury than younger children.

What kind of booster seat do I need?

All booster seats sold in Canada must meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.2. Booster seats are safe when used correctly and the safest seat is the one that best fits your child and your vehicle, and is easiest for you to use.

How can I tell when my child is big enough to use a seat belt without a booster seat?

As of January 1, 2008, a booster seat must be used until one of the factors below are met:

  • The child is 10 years old (for pelvic development)

  • The child's height is at least 145cm (4ft, 9in) tall.

What if my child is too tall for a car seat but doesn't weigh enough for a booster seat?

If your child is too tall for a car seat, but the child’s weight is not yet 18 kg (40 lb.), he or she should go into a combination seat that can accommodate a taller child. This seat is both a forward-facing car seat and a high-back booster seat. Since these seats use the taller shell of a high-back booster seat, some models can accommodate children who are too tall for an infant/child (convertible) seat, but are not 18 kg (40 lb.) These forward-facing car seats use a three or five-point harness system and are tethered.

What if my child is under 10  years old and is over 145 cm (4 ft., 9 in.) tall?

In this case, your child has outgrown the booster seat and should be properly positioned in the vehicle using the regular seat belt assembly ensuring that the child can sit all the way back against the seat back with knees bent comfortably at the edge of the seat, the lap belt rests across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt is centered on the shoulder and chest.

What is my child is under 10 years of age, shorter than the suggested height but over the weight that is stated on my booster seat?

If your child is at any point over the weight that is clearly posted directly on the booster seat, the child needs to be moved either to a booster seat with a higher weight capacity or to the regular seat belt assembly of the vehicle.

What if my neighbour or friend has to drive my child on a "one time, one trip" occasion?

For situations that are not of a common occurrence, a child can be secured in the regular seat belt assembly of a vehicle. This is not for the usual transportation of the child.

What if the child’s grandparents or sitter pick up my child from school twice a week, do they need to have a booster seat for my child?

Yes. For the regular transportation of a child who fits the regulations, a booster seat is required.

Booster seats are in the best interest for the safety of all children!

For more information on child safety seats, please consult the Seat Belt Regulations.  You can also check out the Caring for Kids website for tips on what type of car seat to use.
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