According to the Quebec highway safety code (2015):
- In Quebec, every child in a motor vehicle must be in a car seat at least until he/she reaches a height of 63 centimetres, in the seated position.
- If you don't abide by this law, you are subject to a fine and demerit points.
- Beyond 63 centimetres, a child should only use the car’s seatbelt without a car seat when he/she is able to sit in the back seat of the car with his/her back against the back of the seat. His/her knees should also bend at the knees over the edge of the seat. This allows the seatbelt strap to be adjusted in the middle of the collarbone and allows the lap belt to fit over the hips, not the abdomen.
- Use an age appropriate car seat that meets Transport Canada approved standards. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
- Check and respect the car seat expiry date.
- Replace the car seat if the vehicle was in a collision.
- Even if your child weighs 10 kg (22 lbs) and is walking alone, keep them in the child seat facing the rear until he outgrows the car seat. Your child is more secure this way even if the feet touch the back of vehicle’s seat.
Infant seats should always be installed facing the rear
Height less than 63 cm (25 in) in sitting height
- Contact your local police department or the CAA (1-888-471-2424) to make sure your car seat is installed properly. In the automotive section of the CAA’s web siteyou will find a list of car seat verification centres.
- The recommended place for an infant car seat is in the back, middle seat, facing the rear.
- Be aware that seat belt buckles can get extremely hot if exposed to the sun, especially during the summer. When leaving the car, cover the metal belt with a towel. Check the temperature of the buckle before securing it near your child’s skin.
- Always secure your baby when you put him/her in a car seat. Infants can easily slide out of the seat if not well secured. This can result in a serious injury.
In winter, when your child is wearing a snowsuit, make sure that the harness system is adjusted to accomodate the snow suit. Make sure to compress the snowsuit in order to tighten the straps properly (SAAQ, 2014; Transport Canada, 2013). For more information refer to the SAAQ website.
- For video clips from SAAQ on how to install and adjust Child Safety Seats, click here.