A booster seat adjusts the seat belt so that it fits across your child’s strongest bones, and away from their soft belly. To safely use a booster seat your child must weigh at least 18 kg (40 pounds) and be able to sit correctly for the whole ride. Use a booster seat with the seat belt until your child is at least 145 cm tall (4 feet 9 inches) and the adult seat belt fits correctly without the booster seat.
Before you start: Is your booster safe to use?
- Check that your seat is approved for use in Canada. You’ll find the National Safety Mark on the car seat or booster seat.
- Read the labels and instructions to make sure that your child is within the height, weight, and age limits for the seat.
- Is your seat secondhand? Make sure you still have all parts, including the instruction booklet. If you do not have it, contact the manufacturer for a copy.
- Has your seat been previously involved in a crash? If you do not know the history of the seat, it may no longer be safe to use.
- Check Transport Canada’s website to find out if your seat has been recalled.
- All car seats and booster seats expire. Check the date on your seat. Contact the manufacturer if you are unsure.
How to use a booster seat
- Place the booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Make sure your child has support behind the head to the tops of the ears. This support can come from a high-backed booster seat or from the vehicle head support.
- Route the lap and shoulder belt properly, according to the directions for your seat. For most seats, this means you would tuck the lap belt and the shoulder belt under the arm rests or belt guides.
- Make sure the shoulder belt crosses your child’s chest and stays between your child’s neck and shoulder.
- The lap belt should fit low and snug across your child’s hips.
- An adult should check every time a child buckles his or her own booster seat.
Every booster seat is different. So be sure to read your vehicle manual and follow the instructions for your specific brand and model of booster seat.