Highways and Public Works

Car Seat Safety - Stage One

 

This stage is a rear-facing infant/child car seat. Your child will be in a rear-facing car seat from birth until they are at least  10 kg (22 lb) and walking unassisted (usually one year of age). Your child must meet both of the requirements before graduating to a forward-facing car seat.

There are two main areas of consideration for this stage:
 

Installation of your rear-facing car seat into vehicle
Securing your infant into your car seat

 

 Click here to watch video
Stage One:  Rear-facing infant/child seat
For newborn infants up to 10 kg (22 lb) and
walking unassisted
(Usually 1 year of age) .


 

Installation of your rear-facing car seat base into your vehicle

Step 1: Read your manuals

  • Ensure you have read both your vehicle manual and car seat instruction manual prior to installing your car seat. 
    -Your vehicle manual will let you know where your vehicle manufacturer recommends placing your car seat and how your vehicle seat belts may be used with car seats.
    -Your car seat instruction manual should let you know how to use your car seat.

Step 2: Pick a seating position

  • The best location for any car seat is in the centre back seat. However, in some vehicles and situations this is not possible. 
  • Any seating location that you pick, you will need to check that 80% of your car seat base is supported by the vehicle seat.
    - If this can not be achieved, you will need to find a new seating position or a different car seat. 
  • If your vehicle is equipped with side air bags, click here for more information before installing your car seat.

Step 3: Decide if you are using your Universal Anchorage System (UAS) or a seatbelt

  • They are both equally safe, but sometimes one may be easier than the other for installation purposes. You can not use both.
  • Universal Anchorage System: If you wish to use your UAS system, click here for more information. Ensure you check your vehicle manual for seating positions that allow the use of a UAS system.
  • Seatbelt:  Know how your vehicle seat belt works for car seats. Ensure that your seat belt will stay locked. The most common type of seat belt has a switchable retractor, meaning if you pull your lap/shoulder belt all the way out, it will click engaging the locking mechanism (you will hear a ratcheting sound as it goes back in). You will notice that as it goes back in, it locks and will only tighten.
    If your seat belt does not do this, please refer to your vehicle manual to find out how your seat belt works.

Step 4: Installation

  • To properly secure a rear-facing car seat, place your car seat on your vehicle seat as directed in your car seat instruction manual, push the sides of the car seat (or base if you have an infant carrier) down and into the vehicle upholstery. Place all your weight onto the car seat or base (this will hold it in position and make it easier to secure), route your seat belt or UAS through as directed by your car seat manual, and pull belt tight.

Step 5: Check your installation

  • To check if your rear-facing car seat is installed tight enough, grab both sides of the car seat where the seat belt or UAS goes through it and try to pull it towards each side door. If your car seat moves more than one inch in either direction, it is not correctly installed and you will need to try again.

Step 6: Check your angle

  • All rear-facing car seats must be reclined at a 45 degree angle. This is the angle of the back incline where your infant's head, neck and back rest.  If this angle is too upright, your infant's head may fall straight forward onto their chest. This may lead to suffocation, as the neck muscles may not be strong enough to lift the head back up. If your car seat does not have an adjuster pedal or if you can not achieve this angle, please contact us for further assistance.

 


Securing your infant into your car

Step 1: Place your infant in the car seat

  • Ensure your child is sitting up properly in the car seat. Position the harness straps over your infant's shoulders. Ensure the harness straps are at or below your infant's shoulder level.
  • Ensure the harness straps are flat and not twisted or folded as this will alter the performance of the harness system.
  • Securely latch the harness to the crotch buckle assembly and secure the chest clip.

Step 2: Tighten the harness system

  • Tighten the harness as indicated in your car seat manual so that only one finger fits between the harness and your infant's collar bone. (You can also use the pinch test to see if it is tight enough. Take your fore finger and thumb and try to pinch the harness lengthwise. This test should be done slightly below their collar bone. If you can grab any of the harness, it is not tight enough and needs to be adjusted). Please contact us for further assistance.

Step 3: Adjust your chest clip

  • Ensure the chest clip is positioned at arm-pit level. The chest clip will hold the shoulder harness over the infant's shoulders which prevents the harness straps from slipping off.

Step 4: Additional adjustments

  • Sometimes the space between your infant's diaper and the crotch strap is big enough to allow for slouching. If this happens, your infant will not be positioned within the harness system properly. If you have this problem, check your manual to see if this strap can be adjusted. Please contact us if you require further assistance on this matter.

 

 

****Please also read our aftermarket product and winter clothing section with regards to warnings for the use of head huggers, snuggle bags, padded liners, and winter clothes.****

 


 

Further information:

Transport Canada - Stage One

Canada Safety Council - Stage One

 

 

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