ConsumerInfo on Auto Insurance

One Size Doesn't Fit All: The Co-operators

GUELPH, ON, May 20, 2003 - Did you know that less than six per cent of children who should be in a booster seat, when travelling in a vehicle, currently are? Sometimes referred to as, "The Forgotten Child", children over 40 pounds who have outgrown their car seat are not currently required by law to use a booster seat and often move to an ill-fitting adult seat belt. Booster seats allow a child to safely use the adult seat belt by positioning it properly over their body.

The Ontario Government recognizes that this is a gap in child safety, and has taken the step of tabling legislation requiring the use of booster seats for children up to a minimum of 60 pounds. This new legislation, the first of its kind in Canada, will help keep children in appropriate seats and reduce the risk of serious injury or even death. As an insurer who cares about the proper use of car seats, The Co-operators encourages the Ontario Government to pass this new legislation and we look forward to providing educational materials for parents and children on proper booster seat use.

Why Car Seat Safety Is So Important

  • Four out of every five kids are not correctly buckled up while riding in motor vehicles
  • Motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of death for children ages 1 to 9
  • 75% of crash-related deaths and serious injuries can be prevented by the correct use of a child restraint on every trip

"At The Co-operators, we are passionate about car seat safety and our staff, agents and community partners have risen to the challenge by conducting car seat clinics from coast to coast. The new booster seat legislation is a positive step towards keeping our children safer," says Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators.

In 1999, The Co-operators introduced the Buckle Up Bears car seat program to educate parents on the proper use and installation of car seats. Since its inception, the program has trained just under a 1,000 car seat inspectors and checked hundreds and hundreds of cars seats across the country. Booster seat education, and the risks associated with moving a child to a seat belt too soon, are a crucial part of the program.

The Infant & Toddler Safety Association also applauds the Government of Ontario for taking such a bold step to protect our children. "While the new law will require the use of a booster until only 27 kg (60 lb.), we encourage parents to keep their children in boosters until they are ready to safely move to a seat belt; at a height of 1.45 m (4 ft. 9 in.) and approximately 36 kg (80 lb.)," says Valerie Lee, President of the Infant & Toddler Safety Association.

The Co-operators is a group of wholly Canadian-owned companies that specialize in insurance and financial products, property development, and management and investment counselling. The Co-operators group of companies provides insurance protection to more than two million Canadians and is well known for its community involvement and corporate philanthropy.

For up to date information on booster seats contact your local Co-operators Agent, visit www.cooperators.ca or contact your public health unit.