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Car Accidents are a Leading Cause of Death for Young Kids

Given that cars are one of the most dangerous places for kids, it makes sense that the Ontario government has mandated the use of car seats for kids.

And the injury and death stats are kind of startling: In the US, 650 kids were killed in vehicle accidents and 148,000 were injured. It’s estimated that 618,000 kids were in cars without restraint use at some point during 2011. They also estimated that 72% of kid’s booster or car seats were not installed properly.

Child Passenger Safety

The stats on car seat use are compelling: car seat use reduces death by 71% for toddlers and 45% for kids 4 to 8 years of age. Stats also show many drivers refuse to wear seatbelts, and often their children are also not belted in properly.

How do you know if You’re Complying with the Ontario Law?

Complying is easy:

The car seat must be CSA approved and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Choose the appropriate child seat for the age, weight and height for your child
  • Secure the seat tightly using the vehicle seatbelt or by the Universal Anchorage System (UAS)
  • Place the child in the child car seat, ensuring the harness straps lie flat with no more than 1 finger space between the harness and the child’s collarbone (rear-facing) or chest (forward-facing).

See the Ontario Government’s guidelines for child seat selection and installation.

In Canada your child can begin using a seatbelt alone once they are one of the following:

  • Is 8 years old
  • weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)
  • is 145 cm (57 ins. or 4 ft. 9 ins.) tall

Car Seat Guidelines for the US (courtesy of the CDC).

The Ontario government doesn’t provide visual depictions of important guidelines, but fortunately we have this infographic from the US as a guide.

Child Car Seat Safety

When You Fail to Comply

If police determine that you didn’t secure or you improperly secured your kids in car seats, you could be charged. If you’re convicted, you’ll face a $110 fine and have two demerit points applied to your driving record. And this may affect your insurance rates.

Are you driving distracted? A lot of people and it’s a habit that could lead to a bad accident and higher insurance rates. Police are issuing texting and driving tickets because the danger is there.

Driving with care and consideration remains the best long term plan to reduce your auto insurance rates. Some cars and trucks have lower rates as well and those with added safety features may benefit.

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