How to choose a car seat for children


When the time comes to bring the child home after birth, make sure you have the best possible protection. The car seat will be his bed, his bench and his “protective cushion”, in all his travels for the years to come. The purchase and installation of the seat therefore requires special attention. You can buy convertible car seats from

There are several factors to consider when buying a child’s car seat. Here is what you need to know.

The phases

  • Phase 1 is suitable for the newborn baby up to 10 kg (22 lbs), around the age of 1 year: rear-facing seat.
  • Phase 2 is any child weighing between 10 kg and 18 kg (40 lb): forward facing seat.
  • Phase 3 requires a booster seat (or booster seat) for any child over 18 kg.

When is it time to change seats?

It is the weight and size of the child that dictate the transition from one phase to another, not his age. The child should be left in his seat as long as his weight still corresponds to the limits of the seat.

There are three other reasons to replace a child car seat:

  1. if the seat was in the car at the time of a collision (even if it was empty and / or not damaged)
  2. if his expiry date has passed (more frequent in the case of a used seat or having served for several children of the same sibship)
  3. if it is recalled by Transport Canada.

The purchase

  • Get the seats approved by Transport Canada. They are all equivalent in terms of protection, because they must meet the same quality criteria to be sold here. Do not buy the seat elsewhere than in the country to ensure maximum protection. Standards differ from one country to another and even from one province to another.
  • Make sure that the seller will adapt perfectly to your car. There is a real difference in space between a Toyota Yaris and a Volkswagen Tiguan. Transformable Phase 1 and 2 seats and all-in-ones, often used in Phase 1, occupy a lot of space. The front passenger seat may become uncomfortable for the person assigned to it. The installation of a child seat differs a lot from one car model to another!
  • Also watch for the expiration date on the seat. Indeed, there is a deadline that must be respected, because the material of which is the seat, styro foam for example deteriorates with time and could not be so safe. Occasionally seats have already been on the shelf for a year or more since being manufactured.

Instruction manuals

As with any other important product you buy, do not overestimate or underestimate the seat. Your headquarters manual is a mine of information on its operation, limitations and installation. Take the trouble to browse before you even approach your car, and keep it safe. The installation differs a lot from one brand to another and is often not intuitive! It is worth checking the seat .

According to the, one in two children is not properly seated in their seat. For the safety of your child, make sure they are not part of them!

The seats for phase 1

For children from 0 to about 12 months (until the child reaches 10 kg), you must get the baby carrier seat, phase 1. It is oriented towards the rear of the vehicle. In case of sudden stop or even collision, the back of this seat, inclined at 45 degrees supports much better the neck of the baby.

This type of seat comes in two parts: a base that always stays attached in the car, and a seat with a moon handle, to carry the child.

The seats for phase 2

For babies over one year old weighing at least 10 kg, you will move on to Phase 2. In the beginning, this type of seat should be installed backwards, for better protection against impact. The installation of this type of seat backwards is safer for a child, even if these feet touch the bench.

In a second step or if the seat / car does not allow it, this type of seat is also installed forward.

As the baby becomes a child, his neck becomes much more robust and able to absorb shocks caused by sudden stops. This type of seat is still equipped with 5-point harnesses that provide more support, while being better adapted to their shoulders than the seatbelt of the car.

The seats for phase 3

The little one grows up, but you have to keep protecting him. In phase 3, there is the booster seat or booster seat. This seat does not have a harness, since the child is ready to use the vehicle’s safety belt. The booster seat only serves to lift the child so that the belt falls to the right place on his shoulders.