Give Child Safety A Boost
My kids are growing like weeds and it seems they outgrow whatever new item it is they need the week after I have purchased it. Most recently I have been struggling to stuff my daughter into her car seat, she is a slight six year old who barely weighs in at 40 pounds soaking wet, with a belly full of pancakes. She does however have a long gangly body, add that to some extra winter clothes and getting her buckled in becomes an Olympic sporting event. It’s almost time to transition to a booster seat, but she doesn’t quite meet the criteria yet. Let’s take a look at just what the rules are when it comes to child safety.
Seat belt usage is the law for all vehicle occupants and the fine for not properly using a seatbelt or child restraint is $155 in Alberta. It becomes even more costly in Ontario, with fines ranging from $200 to $1000, plus the addition of two demerit points. However, the type of restraint required for children varies with height and weight to ensure optimal safety.
- Rear-facing seats
Infants are required to use a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one year of age, 22 pounds in weight, AND walking. All three requirements should be met before they graduate to a forward facing seat.
- Forward-facing seats
There is no rush to move your child out of the rear-facing seat, even if they meet the requirements. If they still fit comfortably, this is the safest option.
Children moving into a forward-facing seat should continue using it until they are at least 40 pounds, and once again are not required to move out of it once this weight has been met.
Booster Seats Save Lives
The Ontario Traffic Act requires children weighing 40 to 80 pounds, or anyone under the age of eight to use a booster seat. The law in Alberta however, does not actually require children who have outgrown their forward facing seats or are over the age of six to use one. However, the statistics cannot be ignored…
Without a booster seat, a child is three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer a significant injury.
Children who are under nine years of age, and weigh between 40-80 pounds or are less than 4’9” tall, are safest in a booster seat.
And, if you had any doubt about the correlation between seatbelt use and safety in general, check out these stats:
- During 2014, 64 unbelted vehicle occupants were killed and 508 were injured.*
- Seatbelt users had a much lower injury rate (7.0 per cent) than those not using seatbelts (30.6 per cent).*
- Research and collision investigations show that seatbelts increase the chances of survival in a collision by 50 per cent.
- Seatbelts save about 1000 lives each year in
Did you know??
Child safety seats and booster seats expire. If you’ve been passing the car seats down the line from kid to kid, or family to family like we have, check the expiry dates. You can usually find them stamped into the plastic at the back or bottom of your seat.
Do not use seats past their expiry. Not only can you be fined for this, but they have an expiry date because over time the materials breakdown and they no longer provide your child with the utmost safety. It’s not a risk worth taking.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
Have More Questions?
Let me know and I’ll do my best to address it here for you and all of our readers. Better yet, contact an InsureMy advisor; these guys know their stuff. Email Info@InsureMy.ca or give them a call locally at (403) 410-1896 or toll free at 1-844-410-1896.
Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie