April 13, 2004


Government issues warning about aftermarket products for children’s restraint systems

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Canada advises parents, caregivers and the public of a potential safety risk concerning third-party aftermarket products for children’s restraint systems. A third-party aftermarket product is one that is designed to be used with a car seat, but was not supplied by the seat’s manufacturer. The department has deemed that several of these products may pose a potential safety risk, when added to an infant seat, a child seat or a booster cushion.

Among the more common aftermarket products include harness strap covers, add-on trays, head huggers, padded car seat bags and mobiles.

Transport Canada recommends that caution be used if selecting aftermarket products, due to their potential hazards. In no case should any product be used that interferes with the proper positioning and adjustment of a child restraint harness or other safety features of a car seat.

Certain aftermarket products may cause safety issues such as slack in the shoulder harness system. The resulting slack in the harness may cause a child to be either partially or fully ejected from the restraint system, in the event of an accident or sudden stop.

In other instances, a third-party aftermarket product positioned in front of a child could also cause an injury if it makes contact with the child in the event of an accident or sudden stop.

When selecting one of these aftermarket products, Transport Canada advises to first check with the car seat manufacturer concerning safety issues that may be posed with the use of the product. Car seat manufacturers generally state in their instructions that no third-party aftermarket products should be used with their restraint systems.

A Consumer Information Notice and further information on child car seats can be found on Transport Canada’s web site.

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