Transport Canada: Updated child car seat safety regulations come into force

December 29, 2011 – OTTAWA – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that updated child car seat safety regulations come into force on January 1, 2012.

“As a mom, I want to have confidence that my child is secured in the safest car seat available,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “When these new regulations come into force on January 1, child car seats sold in Canada will meet Canada’s highest testing standards and therefore will be as safe as possible.”

The updated regulations are part of a regular process of reviewing child safety standards while using the most up-to-date technology available for testing. The updates include aligning elements with those in the United States and incorporating specific Canadian testing requirements. The major changes include:

  • a new testing requirement using a three-point seatbelt to secure car seats in vehicles;
  • changes to child seats’ dynamic testing to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters;
  • changing the definition of an infant from 9 kg to 10 kg;
  • an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg to 30 kg;
  • introducing dynamic testing requirements for booster seats; and
  • allowing harnesses to be certified for use on school buses by special needs children.

“Today’s demonstration was a good reminder for Canadian parents to make sure that their child’s car seat is installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and to ensure that their child is buckled in correctly every time,” added Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa–OrlĂ©ans.

Parents should be aware of the guidelines for child seats, ensure that their child is in the seat appropriate for his or her size, and ensure that seats are installed and used properly. More information can be found on Transport Canada’s Keep Kids Safe Web page at

There is no need to replace a child seat as a result of these new standards. However, a child car seat should be replaced if it was installed in a vehicle involved in a collision. If the shell or materials on the seat are ripped or damaged, it should be replaced. Parents should also check the expiry date of the seat and be sure to replace it when it reaches that date.

These new regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on May 12, 2010, giving manufacturers ample lead time to ensure that there were no supply disruptions to consumers while any necessary changes were made to meet the new regulations as of January 1, 2012. Given that previous regulations have provided a high level of safety for children for many years, current child car seats will continue to provide excellent protection throughout their useful life.

Transport Canada is online at