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Safety Tips

Preventing crime and maintaining safe communities is everyone's responsibility. By practising the following personal and property safety tips, you can help reduce the incidents of crime and keep your community safe.


Car Seats for Kids

Studies show that automobile mishaps claim more lives than childhood diseases and any other type of accident prevalent among children. Evidence also shows that injuries sustained in vehicle accidents could have been completely prevented or minimized if the driver had taken some precautionary measures to ensure the safety of passengers.

It is mandatory across Canada that children under 40 pounds always ride in properly adjusted car seats. For children over 40 pounds they must be secured in a booster seat. In order for them to ride without a booster seat, they must fit one of the following criteria: eight-years-old or 80 pounds or 4'9". Regardless of age, weight and height it is recommended that all children remain in booster seats until the lap belt fits securely across their pelvic area. All seats sold in Canada must comply with the Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Standards Act. Check the label of a car seat before you purchase it to make sure it has been crash-tested and that it complies with all government regulations. Car seats sold in the United States do not have tether straps and are therefore illegal to use in Canada.

Car seats range in type by the size and age of a child. Infant carriers, toddler seats, convertible seats, and booster seats are designed to protect children at different stages of growth.

Here are some factors that will help you decide if your child is big enough to ride without a booster seat:
  1. Your child’s legs should bend at the knees over the seat
  2. Your child should be able to sit all the way back against the seat without slouching
  3. The lap belt should be on top of the thighs and snug
  4. The shoulder belt should be centred over the shoulder and snug

If your child does not meet even one of these conditions, you should use a booster seat.

It’s important that parents feel confident in their installation of a car seat and in their knowledge of the issues and legislation surrounding child seats. To assist parents and caregivers, the Durham Region Car Safety Seat Committee was formed. This committee is made up of trained volunteers and sworn police members who will check your car seat for safety and discuss any concerns you may have. Checkpoints are set up throughout the year and participation is free.

Please check our Events Calendar for the dates and times of Car Seat Check Events, or contact the Durham Region Health Department at 1-800-841-2729 for more information.