April 30, 2009

Life is a long journey ... keep them safe


NEWMARKET – Motor vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death and injury for children. However, when used correctly, child safety restraints can drastically reduce the risk of injury and death during a motor vehicle accident. 


To install and use a car seat properly you must read both the vehicle manual and the car seat/booster seat manual.  A child’s weight, height, developmental ability and age are all factors that help what type of restraint, and how the restraint should be used.


An infant carrier or rear-facing convertible car seat should be used for babies under one year of age and weighing less than 22 lbs.  Rear facing car seats should never be placed in a front passenger seat with an active air bag.


Forward facing car seats are required for babies once they are a minimum of 22 lbs, one year of age and can pull themselves up to a stand without help.  All forward facing car seats must be installed with a tether strap.


Harness straps for all systems must lie flat and tightened until snug, with only one finger fitting between the harness and baby's collar bone.  The chest clip should be at armpit level


In 2005, booster seats became required by law for children less than 8 years of age who weigh between 10 to 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) and who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.  A booster seat raises a child up so the seat belt fits properly; the shoulder belt should cross the chest and rest snugly across the shoulder, with the lap belt sitting low across the hips.  In Ontario, only 34 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight are properly secured in motor vehicles - the rest are using seatbelts.  Children using seatbelts instead of booster seats are three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer significant injury, and four times more likely to suffer head injury in a collision.


Life is a long journey … keep them safe. For more information on car and booster seat safety or upcoming car seat clinics, please visit www.yorkregionchildseat.ca or call York Region Health Connection at



For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca


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Media Contact:           Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region

Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 251-5553

                                    Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
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