Booster Seats

Booster seats keep children 60% safer than seat belts.  Your child needs a booster seat to keep him safe while travelling because:

  • he is small and his bones are still growing
  • it will keep the seat belt from sitting across his neck and belly 

Booster seats keep children 60% safer than seat belts.  Your child needs a booster seat to keep him safe while travelling because:

  • he is small and his bones are still growing
  • it will keep the seat belt from sitting across his neck and belly

Booster seats and the law

In Ontario, your child can use a booster seat if he weighs over 18 kg (40 pounds). Your child must use a booster seat until he is at least:

  • 46 kg (80 pounds) or
  • 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) or
  • Eight years old

Drivers are responsible for following the law.  If you do not follow the law, you may be charged with a fine and two demerit points.

Keep your child in a booster seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limits. Some booster seats allow children to use them until they are 54 kg (120 pounds).

Canadian safety standards

 

All booster seats used in Canada must have a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, or CMVSS, label. This tells you that your booster seat meets current Canadian safety rules. It is illegal to import or use a booster seat that does not meet Canadian standards.

 

Booster seats are made for children who weigh between 18 and 54 kg (40 - 120 pounds).  Check each booster seat for specific weight and height limits.

The best booster seat is the one that fits your child and your vehicle.  Choose a booster seat that:

  • you can easily install in your vehicle
  • makes it easy to buckle up and remove your child
  • fits your child’s current weight and height
  • has higher weight and height limits to grow with your child

Types of booster seats

There are four types of booster seats:

1. Convertible 3-in-1 booster seat
Use this seat rear-facing, forward-facing and as a booster seat. 

3-in-1 car seat  

2. Combination booster seat
Use this seat forward-facing and as a booster seat. 

 

3. High back booster seat
Use this only as a booster seat.  You must use a high-back booster seat instead of a no-back booster seat if your vehicle does not have a moveable head rest.

 High back booster seat

4. No-back booster seat
Use this only as a booster seat.  To use this type of booster seat, your vehicle must have a moveable headrest that supports your child’s head and neck.

No back booster seat 

Expiry dates and recalls

Most booster seats expire within five to nine years. Check Transport Canada to see how long your seat is good for.

Mail in the registration card that comes with your booster seat to the manufacturer.  They contact you if there are any problems or recalls for your booster seat.   

  • Check for booster seat recalls
  • Buying used booster seats
  • Transport Canada does not recommend used booster seats because you may not know the history of the booster seat.

If you choose a used booster seat make sure that it:

  • has a CMVSS label
  • has not been in a car crash
  • has not been dropped on the ground
  • has not been recalled
  • has not expired
  • has all of its parts and manual
  • has no added pieces
  • is in good condition
  • has no marks on the plastic
  • has no ripped fabric

Use a booster seat for your child when they outgrow the weight or height limits of their car seat. Keep your child in his car seat as long as possible. The law in Ontario says that your child must weigh at least 18 kg (40 pounds) to use a booster seat.

How to install a booster seat

All children 12 years old and under should sit in the back seat of your vehicle away from airbags. Booster seats must be installed in a vehicle seat with a lap and shoulder seat belt.

Read your vehicle manual and your booster seat manual to find out where the safest spot is for your child’s booster seat. The manuals tell you where and how to install the booster seat.

If your vehicle does not have a back seat, you will have to turn off or deactivate the passenger airbag before putting the booster seat in the front passenger seat.

Only use products that come with your booster seat. Add-on products or things sold separately from your booster seat decrease the safety of the seat. Your child can be hurt in a crash.

Booster seat inspections

You can have your child’s booster seat inspected by a certified car seat technician. Check the Car Seat and Booster Seat Clinics schedule to find out when clinics are open and to book an appointment.

Contact us

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