Why do child car seats have an expiry date and is it safe to still use them ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.  In Canada, all car seat manufacturers provide an expiry date on all car seats.  Why? For safety !

There are also reasons such as…

  • sunlight: yes, sun exposure can damage or weaken the plastic found in car seats; and
  • safety regulations and standards change over time and products improve over time.

The provincial and territorial laws state that children’s car seats and booster seats  must be certified to Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must be used properly according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. If you don’t follow the instructions or if you use them past their expiry or useful life dates, there is exposure to putting a child at risk and you may be found guilty of breaking the law.

You may be tempted to buy a car seat second hand.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers do not recommend you buy a used car seat unless you can get a guarantee that it hasn’t been in an accident (which could be impossible), has not been recalled (check with the manufacturer or Transport Canada – 1-800-333-0371) and that it isn’t expired; Transport Canada also provides a list of manufacturers of car seats and booster seats sold in Canada which includes the expiry/life date.

The following are the weight guidelines for child car seats in Ontario:

Infants: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children must rear-facing car seats until the child weighs at least 9 kg (20 lb.). It’s important to note that this is a minimum requirement. Some rear-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 20 kg (45 lb.).

Toddlers: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a forward-facing child car seat once  they weight from 9 kg to 18 kg (20 to 40 lb.). Again, this is a minimum requirement. Some forward-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 30 kg (65 lb.).

Pre-School and up to 8 years old: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg to 36 kg (40-80 lb.), are less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall, and are under the age of 8. Again, this is a minimum requirement.

Youth: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children can use a seat belt when one of the following conditions is met:

  • Child turns 8 years old, or
  • Child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.), or
  • Child is 145 cm (4´ 9˝) tall or more

It’s important that  the shoulder strap is positioned across a youth’s shoulder and in the middle of the chest and the lap belt crosses the hips and not the stomach.

Child car seat requirements are the law and more importantly are there for safety.  If you are unsure of what car seat your child should be in or if your car seat is installed correctly, there are a number of resources in the Ottawa area to help you such as Service Ontario at 1(800) 268-4686. Please make sure your child is safe.

-We understand, we care and we’re here to help: Ottawa personal injury lawyers since 1999.


Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth discusses the differences in Ontario personal injury insurance claims for children.

Ottawa Child Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

When it comes to our children, nothing is more important.  When a child suffers a personal injury, our hearts are broken. No one over wants their child to be injured. We know how stressful and overwhelming it is for parents when their child is suffering.

Hiring the right Ottawa child injury lawyer is critical. It is important for one to know that a child personal injury claim is not the same as an adult personal injury claim. There are very specific laws in Ontario that govern a child injury case. For instance, did you know that any settlement of a Ontario personal injury claim  involving a minor  requires Ontario court approval ?  This is done to protect the child and make sure that the settlement amount is appropriate and fair and that the legal fees charged by the personal injury lawyer hired for the child are fair and appropriate for the amount of work/risk he or she had done.

There are also many areas in Ontario accident benefits policies that pertain to children claims. Often times when a child suffers a personal injury, they need to be cared for by a parent. In most cases, this means that a parent must take time off work and assume a full-time caregiver role. There are specific provisions in the Ontario accident benefits that can help cover your loss of income while caring for your child.

Our child injury lawyers and our Ontario accident benefit specialists work together to make sure that all expenses are covered including, medications, family visiting expenses, loss of income, and provisions for other changes in your life as a result of your child being injured. We can help in many ways including  filling out all the necessary paperwork for you.  We do this to ensure that the insurance companies are responsible for 100% and no stone is left unturned. The paperwork can be daunting and complicated and often times our clients are not in the right head space to be focusing on this as they have much more important things and people to be focusing on.

If your child has been injured in a Ontario accident, it’s important that you consult with an experienced Ontario child injury lawyer to ensure you receive all the compensation and support that will be needed not only now but in the years to come following your child’s accident.

For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca or email david@ottawainjury.ca. We are here to discuss your child’s accident with you and can offer you advice on how best to proceed. We have been helping Ontario families work through their accidents and injuries since 1999. Our goal is to help you as much as possible and provide you not only with maximum compensation, but help you get much needed services and support.


Car accidents leading cause of child deaths in Canada. What you need to do to keep your child safe.

Accident and Child Injuries

Did you know that motor vehicle accidents  are the leading cause of death for Canadian children? This week Ottawa Police will be focussing on car child safety by conducting a roadside car seat safety blitz. The goal is to ensure that children under the age of 16 are secured properly. If you are unsure of whether or not your child’s car seat is installed properly or not, there are clinics throughout Ottawa, that can inspect your installation for you. For locations and times, visit the “seatsforkidscanada.com” website.

Want to know which child car seat to use and when ?

  • Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.) -Rear-facing seat
  • 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lb.) -Forward-facing seat -Use with a tether strap
  • The law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for a regular seat belt.Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8, weighing 18 kg or more but less than 36 kg (40-80 lb.) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.A child can wear a  seatbelt  once any one of the following criteria is met:
    • child is 8 years old  or child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.)  or child is 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall.

    Booster seats raise the child up so that the adult seatbelt works better. Booster seats protect against serious injury 3 ½ times better than seatbelts alone.

  • If you are unsure of whether or not your car seat is safe, please take the time to have it checked. Proper installation can make all the difference between life and death.

Drive safely.

Here are some valuable sites you may wish to look at the pertain to child car seats and safety:

www.seatsforkidscanada.com

www.ottawa.ca/en/node/267736/index.html

https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.org/childrens-programs/car-seat-program

http://capitalparent.ca/blog/2012/10/18/child-car-seat-safety-is-your-child-properly-secured