Child safety seats are ineffective unless used properly. The Alberta government has developed free, online child safety seat training. It helps caregivers and professionals who work with children learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats.

Facts to know:

  • In Alberta, the law requires that all occupants travelling in a motor vehicle use a seat belt or child safety seat that is properly worn and adjusted.  
  • The fine for not using a seat belt or child safety seat is $155. 
  • From 2011 to 2015, there were 353 unbelted fatalities in Alberta.
  • Nearly a quarter of those fatalities were 18- to 24-year old men.
  • Properly used seat belts can reduce fatal and serious injury by 45-65 per cent depending on the type of vehicle and seating position. 
  • Never re-use a child safety seat that has been in a crash, it may have cracks/weakened areas which keeps it from working properly.
  • Without a booster seat, a child is three and a half times more likely to suffer a significant injury.
  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring that all passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured using either a child safety seat or seat belt. Drivers may be fined for each unrestrained passenger under the age of 16. 
  • Children should only sit in seats with air bags if they have reached an age that the manufacturer recommends

Rear-facing seat

  • A child is safest staying rear-facing until he/she is at least 2 years of age or reaches the maximum weight or height limit of the rear-facing seat, as stated by the manufacturer. 
  • A rear-facing seat provides the best protection for a child’s head, neck and spine in a sudden stop or crash.

Forward-facing seat

  • Once a child is at least 2 years of age or reaches the maximum weight or height limit of their rear-facing car seat, as stated by the manufacturer, he/she can move into a forward-facing car seat.
  • Use a forward-facing car seat until the child reaches the maximum weight or height limit of that seat, as stated by the manufacturer.

Booster seat

  • Once a child reaches the maximum weight or height limit of their forward-facing car seat, as stated by the manufacturer, he/she can move into a booster seat. 
  • A child is safest in a booster seat until he/she reaches the maximum weight or height limit of that seat, as stated by the manufacturer. 

Seat belt

  • A child is ready to exit his/her booster seat when the vehicle seat belt fits properly; this is typically when a child is 145 cm (4’9”) tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
  • To check if it is time to move to a standard seat belt, have your child sit in the back seat of your vehicle with the lap-shoulder belt buckled.
  • Children under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat of a vehicle in proper restraints based on their age and height.