Highways and Public Works

Car Seat Safety - Stage Four

This stage is the use of an adult seat belt. Your child must be 145 cm tall (4'9") or 45 kg (100 lb).

Is your child ready for an adult seat belt?

Take a look and see
  • Are they 145 cm/4'9" and/or 45 kg/100 lbs?
  • Can your child sit upright (not slouching) with knees bent and feet touching the floor? 
  • Do their knees bend comfortably over the edge of the vehicle seat, while sitting properly?
  • Does the lap portion of the seat belt fit across the the top of the thighs/hips and not ride up to the stomach?
  • Does the shoulder belt portion go across the chest bone and the middle of the shoulder? (NOT across the neck and NEVER behind the back or under an arm)
  • Does the child feel comfortable and will sit properly for the entire trip?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then your child is probably ready for an adult seat belt.


Securing your child properly into your vehicle with a seat belt

Before starting, please consult your vehicle manual for seat belt information

  • The best location for any child under 12 years of age is in the back seat. 
  • All children under 12 should be in a lap/shoulder seat belt. 
  • Place the lap portion of the seat belt over your child and secure in place, ensuring that it is positioned low and snugly over the child's hips. 
  • Ensure that the shoulder portion of the seat belt is sitting diagonally across the middle of your child's shoulder. If it does not, refer to your vehicle manual to see if you can adjust your seat belt position.
  • Ensure that the midpoint of your child's ears is NOT above the back of the head rest or vehicle seat.
  • If your child is sitting in a seat with an air bag, ensure that he/she sits up properly and stays out of the air bag deployment zone. 
  • Never place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back of your child. In the event of a collision, these actions could cause serious injury. 

Additional Notes

  • Add-on seat belt adjusters are not recommened as they use the lap belt to adjust the shoulder belt. By pulling down on the shoulder belt, the lap belt is pulled up. A lap belt riding up could cause severe internal and spinal cord injuries.
  • Some newer vehicles are equipped with a removable seat belt adjuster which is considered to be part of the original vehicle equipment and therefore acceptable for use.
  • Children should be encouraged to sit upright in the vehicle seat,  as slouching increases the likelihood of the lap belt riding up above the pelvis which could lead to serious abdominal injuries in the event of a motor vehicle collision. If the child is slouching naturally while in the seat belt, it could be because the legs are not long enough and do not bend with the seat. In this case the child should be moved into an appropriate booster seat.


Further information:

Transport Canada - Stage 4 - Seat Belts

Canada Safety Council - Stage 4 - Seat Belts



Contact Car Seat Safety Program

Government of Yukon
Department of Highways and Public Works
Box 2703 (W-17)
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

Phone: (867) 667-5832
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5832
Fax: (867) 667-5799
Email: road.safety@gov.yk.ca