Ottawa, Ontario – Updated child car seat safety regulations are now in effect in Canada from January 1, 2012.

The updated regulations include aligning elements of safety standards and testing with U.S. requirements, along with incorporation of specific Canadian testing requirements.

The major changes include a new testing requirement using a three-point seatbelt to secure the seats in vehicles; changes in dynamic testing to adopt most of the U.S. testing parameters; changing the definition of an infant from 9 kilograms (19.8 lbs) to 10 kg (22 lbs); an increase in the maximum allowable weight limit of child seats from 22 kg (48.5 lbs) to 30 kg (66.1 lbs); the introduction of dynamic testing requirements for booster seats; and allowing harnesses to be certified for use on school buses by special-needs children.

More information on guidelines for child seats, child size and seat installation can be found at Transport Canada.

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