Install a child car seat

Child car seats, booster seats and seatbelts help protect children from serious injury. This page will help you make sure your child's car seat is installed correctly.


To install your rear-facing child car seat:

Install away from active airbags. For many vehicles the safest place is in the back seat, or in the second or third row of a mini-van.

Install the base at a 45-degree angle.

Photo of rear-facing car seat on proper angle


If needed, use a firmly rolled towel or a firm foam bar (like a pool noodle) under the base to achieve this angle.

Photo of pool noodles under the car seat


Use your body weight to tighten and fasten the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap through the base.
The child car seat should move no more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) in any direction where the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) stra is routed through the child car seat.

Photo of driver securing the car seat


If needed, use a locking clip.
This clip helps secure the child car seat into your vehicle. Consult your vehicle owner's manual to see if you need one. If so, install the locking clip on the seatbelt within 13 mm (1/2 inch) of the latch plate.

Photo of locking clip


Use the harness slots to position the straps correctly.

Your harness straps must pass through the correct slots. Check your child car seat manual for the correct height.

Photo of harness slots


To use your rear-facing child car seat:

  • Make sure the harness straps do not twist or fold. Harness straps need to be straightened out each time you secure your baby in the seat.
  • Adjust the chest clip on the harness. It should lie flat against your baby's chest at armpit level.
  • Secure the harness straps at or below your baby's shoulders. You should not be able to fit more than one finger underneath the harness straps at your baby's collarbone.
  • Make sure the carrier latches into the child car seat base every time.
  • Each time you place your child in the child car seat, give it a tug to make sure it is still secure.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and read your vehicle owner's manual for correct child car seat installation and use.

To install your forward-facing child car seat:

Install away from active airbags.
For many vehicles the safest place is in the back seat, or in the second or third row of a mini-van.


Make sure the seat is in the upright position.
If you are turning a child car seat from rear-facing to forward-facing, adjust the recline angle to the upright position. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for more information.

Photo of installed car seats


Use your body weight to tighten and fasten the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap.
The child car seat should move no more than 2.5 cm (1 in..) in any direction where the seatbelt or Universal Anchorage System (UAS) strap is routed through the child car seat.

Photo of driver securing the carseat


Fasten the strap.
The tether strap prevents the child car seat from moving forward and causing injury in the event of a collision. It is located on the rear of the child car seat and has a hook. The hook is designed to attach the strap to the tether anchor in the vehicle as provided by the vehicle manufacturer.

Photo of Universal Anchorage System


Secure the tether only to the anchor point(s) provided.
These points are set by the manufacturer. If your vehicle does not have a tether anchor in place, contact a dealer to have one installed.

Photo of tether strap


If needed, use a locking clip.
This clip helps secure the child car seat into your vehicle. Consult your vehicle owner's manual to see if you need one. If so, install the locking clip on the seatbelt within 13 mm (1/2 inch) of the latch plate.

Photo of locking clip


Use the harness slots to position the straps correctly.
Your harness straps must pass through the correct slots. Check your child car seat manual for the correct height.

Photo of harness slots


To use your forward-facing child car seat:

  • Make sure the harness straps do not twist or fold. Harness straps need to be straightened out each time you secure your child in the seat.
  • Adjust the chest clip on the harness. It should lie flat against your child's chest at armpit level.
  • Secure the harness straps at or above your child's shoulders. Straps should be snug, with only one finger's width between the strap and your child's chest.
  • Each time you place your child in the car safety seat, give it a tug to make sure it is still secure.
  • Avoid attaching objects likes toys, trays and mirrors to your child's car seat. They may have hard or sharp surfaces that can hurt your child if they break off in a collision.

Always allow the manufacturer's instructions and read your vehicle owner's manual for correct child car seat installation and use.

To install your booster seat:

  • Make sure your vehicle has a combined lap and shoulder seatbelt. All booster seats need this kind of seatbelt. If your vehicle has a lap belt only, don't use a booster seat in that seating position.
  • Install away from active airbags. Never place a booster seat in front of an active airbag. Check to make sure the airbag can be turned off or have it deactivated.

To use your booster seat:

  • Adjust the lap and shoulder seatbelt. The shoulder strap should lie across your child's shoulder (not the neck or face) and middle of the chest. The lap belt should cross low over the hips (not the stomach).Never use seatbelt adjusters.
  • Make sure your child's head is supported by the top of the booster seat, the vehicle seat or the headrest.

To use a seatbelt properly:

  • Make sure the shoulder strap lies across your child's shoulder and the middle of the chest (not the neck or face)and the lap bel crosses over the hips (not the stomach).
  • Never put the shoulder strap under your child's arm or behind their back.
  • Never secure more than one person with the same seatbelt. One person, one seatbelt.
  • Seat children under 13 in the back seat of your vehicle. This is the safest place for children to sit.

Use a seatbelt for every trip and teach your child to wear a seatbelt by always wearing one yourself!

If you are having trouble installing a child car seat and need more information, contact your local public health unit. To find a public health unit:

To learn more about child car seat safety or car seat recalls, check online with Transport Canada or call them at 1-800-333-0371.

Installing a Rear-Facing Child Car Seat

Installing a Forward Facing Child Car Seat for Toddlers

Installing a Child Booster Seat

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