Car Seat Safety

Recently, the kids and I were in a car accident. It doesn’t matter how safe of a driver you are, accidents can still happen so you have to be prepared and take precautions to keep your children safe. That means always having them in a car seat that is correctly installed.

After the accident, we were told that it would be best for us to buy new cars seats for the children. The accident really shook me up. So when I bought the new car seats, I decided to go to BCAA and get a one-on one instruction session on how to properly install the car seats. And boy am I glad I went! There are things that I learned and I thought if I don’t know some of this, I’m sure there are other parents that don’t either. When the BCAA rep started the session, he told me not to be offended because he was going to talk to me about car seats from the basics. It definitely helped to have a refresher.

Some of the things that he touched on were:

– Car seats have two systems, either anchoring or seat belt. Only use one to keep your child safe. (If you choose to use the seatbelt method, make sure it’s properly attached.)

– For a rear facing car seat, use a cut piece of foam (swimming noodle)  to keep it balanced.

– For a front facing car seat, the shoulder belts should be above the shoulder of the child and on rear-facing they should be slightly below the shoulder of the child.

– If your rear facing carseat is on the side, the seat in front should not be touching the back of the car seat, there has to be a little bit of room.

– The safest place for your child is in a rear-facing car seat in the middle of the backseat, so keep your child in that position for as long as you can.

– If you buy a car seat in the United States to use in Canada, it is illegal if it doesn’t comply with Canadian safety standards and it doesn’t display the National Safety Mark:

These are just a few of the things that the BCAA representative talked to me about as he assisted me in properly installing my two car seats. (You can get complete information and facts by contacting a local agency in your city that assists with car seat installations.)

One fact that really surprised me was when the rep told me that every car seat you buy in Canada, is equally safe because they have all passed the same safety standards. So then my question was, why are some car seats only $70 while other’s are $350 if they are all equally safe?

The answer that was given to me was that the more expensive car seats often have more bells and whistles like easier installation, slimmer build and some are made of steel frames. I do feel better knowing that whatever car seats I buy (in Canada) will keep my children equally safe.

I really recomend going to one of these carseat workshops or clinics. Whether you’re expecting a baby or your child is three years old, you can still learn something and it doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re doing everything right to keep your child safe in the car.

Here are some links to car seat clinics and information in your area:
BC : BCAA Safety Workshops
AB: Alberta Motor Association
MB: Manitoba Public Insurance
For the rest of Canada, please check Transport Canada

Have you ever been to a car seat clinic or information session? Did you find it helpful or not really?


4 thoughts on “Car Seat Safety

  1. sorry to hear about your car accident, im thinking you and the fam are ok? i havent been to a car seat clinic, but ive already learned some info from the stuff you posted. we ended up buying the car seat with all the bells and whistles as we were in a compact car with plans for more kids, but im glad that regardless of the model, my kid(s) will be safe. it’s really important to always check the car seat is secure, and child is secure in the seat before heading #1 rule

  2. Glad your accident wasn’t too serious. Thanks for the tips! I’ve heard the same that all car seats are equally safe, which is why we bought the $70 one. We don’t own a vehicle & just use Modo (the car co-op) once or twice a month, so we were looking for light, easy to install & low cost, since it just doesn’t get used much.

    Another tip to add is to check the expiry date of your seats–it varies how long they’re supposed to last by manufacturer, according to info I found on the canadian government website about car seats.

    By the way, I came here via the VM Top Blogger Contest. Will I see you at the big Vancouver Mom shindig tonight? I’ll be one of the Ambassadors at the door–hope to connect in person!

    1. Thanks Lisa, we are all safe which is definitely the most important thing!

      That’s a good tip about the expiry date, thanks for sharing it. There is so much to know about car seats and I didn’t even know!

      I will be there tonight, hope to see you there! Looking forward to it.

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