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BC laws for child passengers

BC laws for child passengers

BC laws for child passengers

Keeping our children safe

In British Columbia, drivers must ensure that all children under the age of 16 are correctly restrained when in a vehicle.

The type of child car seat you should use depends on the age, height and weight of your child.

Birth to at least one year and 9 kg (20 lbs)

baby in rear-facing car seat child in rear-facing car seat

You must use a rear-facing child car seat until your child is at least one year of age and 9 kg (20 lbs).

There’s no rush to move your child to a forward-facing child car seat — these guidelines are   the minimum requirements. Your child can stay rear-facing, as long as his or her weight is within your child car seat’s stated limit.

A rear-facing child car seat is the safest option for your child, as it provides better support for your baby or toddler’s head and neck.

Ideal placement:

  • Place on the vehicle back seat, centre position.
  • Never install a rear-facing child car seat on a front vehicle seat equipped with an air bag—your child could be injured if the air bag deployed.
  • Transport Canada Stage 1

Over one year AND 9 kg to 18 kg (20 to 40 lbs)

child in rear-facing car seat child in forward facing car seat

Use a rear or forward-facing child car seat depending on your child’s weight. Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible within the manufacturer’s rear-facing weight limit.

Ideal placement:

  • Place on the vehicle back seat.
  • Forward-facing child car seats must always be used with a tether.
  • Transport Canada Stage 2

Over 18 kg (40 lbs) until 9 years old OR 145 cm. (4’9”) in height

child in forward facing car seat child in booster seat

Use a booster seat until your child is at least nine years old or 145 cm (4’9″) tall. Your child may remain in a forward-facing child car seat if the manufacturer’s forward-facing weight limit allows.

Ideal placement:

  • Place on the vehicle back seat.
  • Booster seats are designed to be used with a lap/shoulder seat belt. Do not use a booster seat with a lap only seat belt.
  • Position lap belt low over hip bones and shoulder belt over shoulder and across the chest.
  • Transport Canada Stage 3

After 9 years old or 145 cm (4’9”) tall

child in booster seat child with seat belt only

At this stage, you can use the seat belt system.. Always make sure the seatbelt is properly adjusted over the child’s shoulder and across the chest.

Ideal placement:

If you have questions, call BCAA Child Seat Information Line at 1-877-247-5551 or email roadsafety@bcaa.com

For more information, visit Transport Canada.

This article was published on Monday 04 July, 2016.