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Child Car Seat Laws in Ontario

Feb 19, 2020 | Car Accidents, Legal Articles

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

A car seat can protect your child from a serious injury if a car accident occurs. There has been extensive education regarding safety precautions that involve the use of car seats. Additionally, the laws have changed to help make vehicles safe for children. For instance, parents are now advised to use rear-facing child seats for much older infants compared to previous years. As a parent or driver, you need to stay up to date with these laws for the safety of your child as well as to avoid hefty fines and penalties and to ensure your children are kept safe.

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At Grillo Law, we remain up to date with the latest updates in these laws to educate you on what’s required to keep your child safe and prevent breaking the law. We’ll go over some of the child car seat laws in Ontario that you should be aware of.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act

The law requires that any child below the age of 16 should be properly seated and wearing a seatbelt. If the child is caught without a seatbelt, the driver will be held liable. Drivers can be fined or ticketed if an underage passenger is found to have violated this rule.

Car seat laws in Canada stipulate the specific age, weight and height requirements. These requirements have been made after thorough research on the dangers of driving without a car seat.

There are three main types of car seats that the law permits and they are recommended for children of different ages.

  • Infant car seats: These are the rear-facing car seats, which are recommended for new-borns.
  • Front-facing car seats: Toddlers and young children can use this type of car seat.
  • Booster seats: These are for the older toddlers and young children who have not reached the age, weight and height requirements to fit on the car seatbelt properly.

Rear-facing car seat laws in Ontario

Previously, rear-facing car seats were only used for new-borns. As soon as the child could hold their head up properly, they were changed to the front-facing car seat. However, the law now requires that a child who is less than 20 pounds/9kg must be carried in a rear-facing car seat. This will provide even better protection for your child.

Toddler seats

The next level is using a toddler seat. The front-facing toddler seat has special harness seat belts that can protect the child in the event of a collision better than a standard seat belt. The law requires that children be secured in a toddler seat until they reach 40 pounds/18kgs.

Booster seat laws

When children outgrow the front-facing toddler seat, they can be secured on a booster seat, which allows the smaller child to reach the height of an adult seatbelt. The booster seats are required for children between 18kgs and 36kgs. Booster seats are a requirement for children who are a standard 4’ 9’ or less or those below the age of 9 years.