Parents need more education on car and booster seat safety, advise paediatricians

Canadian Paediatric Society Press Release

Friday, April 4, 2008,? Doctors should help educate parents on the proper use of infant and child car seats, says the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) in a new statement.  

The position statement, published this week in Paediatrics & Child Health, provides detailed recommendations for selecting, positioning, installing and using car and booster seats. Every year, more than 2,500 children between the ages of 1 and 4 years are injured or killed in car collisions in

"Too many young Canadian children are injured in collisions, when the majority of these injuries can be avoided by proper use of car and booster seats," said Dr. Lynne Warda, chair of the CPS Injury Prevention Committee.  

In Canada, 44 to 81 per cent of car seats and 30 to 50 per cent of booster seats are not used properly. When these seats are used properly they can reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 71 per cent.  

"Parents need to be more aware of how to choose, install and use car seats properly, and doctors should be able to provide this guidance," said Dr. Charmaine van Schaik, a community paediatrician in Aurora, Ont., and author of the CPS statement.  
The top three mistakes parents make when using car seats are: not properly securing the seat to the vehicle, not attaching the harness snugly enough, and not positioning the chest clip at the child’s armpit level.  
To help protect children, the CPS is calling on all provincial and territorial governments to implement booster seat legislation across Canada. Legislation already exists in a number of jurisdictions but not all provinces and territories. The CPS also supports sales tax exemptions for car seat and booster seats.  
The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association that promotes the health needs of children and youth. Founded in 1922, the CPS represents more than 2,500 paediatricians, paediatric subspecialists and other child health professionals across Canada. Paediatrics & Child Health is the peer-reviewed journal of the CPS.  


To access the full statement, visit:

Media inquiries:
Jennifer Lefebvre
Canadian Paediatric Society
613-526-9397, ext. 247