Ottawa, Ontario – New Canadian regulations for child seats will be extended by a year to allow manufacturers to complete the redesign testing and certification to conform to the standards. The original implementation date of January 1, 2011 will now be December 31, 2011.

“The safety of children is very important to our government,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “The use of child seats is paramount for child safety in the event of a collision, and this extension will help ensure that there will be a sufficient selection and quantity of child seats available in the marketplace for Canadian consumers.”

Until December 31, 2011, manufacturers will have the option of producing products that meet either the new or the current regulatory requirements. The new requirements were rewritten to harmonize some elements with the U.S. and to incorporate new and unique testing requirements.

The major issues include:

– A new testing requirement using a three-point seatbelt to secure car seats in vehicles.

– Changes in dynamic testing of car seats to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters, including using the U.S. acceleration corridor and performance criteria.

– An increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg to 30 kg, and in infant seats from 9 kg to 10 kg.

– The introduction of dynamic testing requirements for booster seats.

– The allowance of harnesses to be used on school buses for special-needs children.

The agency said that parents should be aware that there is no need to replace a child seat unless it was installed in a vehicle involved in a collision. However, parents should check the expiry date of the seat and be sure to replace it when it reaches that date, and replace the seat if the shell or materials on the seat are torn or damaged.

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