. Vehicle Safety | Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba
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Vehicle Safety

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintentional injury death for all Canadians and the second leading cause of injury death and hospitalization in Manitoba. Correct and consistent use of seatbelts and child car seats are key to keeping your family safe on the road.

As of August 8, 2013 all children in Manitoba must use an appropriate car seat or booster seat until they are:

At least 145 cm (4'9") tall,
36 kg (80 lbs.) OR 9
years old

The safest place in a car to position an infant car seat is in the centre of the back seat. Rear facing seats provide the best protection for infants and young children. It is safest to keep your infant / young child in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible. This means use the rear facing seat until your child outgrows the height or weight limits of the seat. When buying a rear-facing seat look for one that is designed for children up to 45 pounds. Always read and follow the manufacture's instructions and keep them with your car seat. For rear and forward facing car seats, the harness straps should be snug so that you can only fit one finger between the straps and your child's chest for forward facing car seats and the collarbone for rear facing car seats. Also the chest clip should be level with your child's armpits.

Most parents know that babies and children need to travel in car seats, but did you know that car seats have expiry dates? These are usually on the car seat label, stamped into the plastic body of the car seat and on the warrantee card.

You should replace your car seat if your vehicle was involved in a crash – even if your child wasn't in the car seat at the time. MPI recommends that parents always mention that a car seat was installed in their vehicle each time they open a claim with MPI so their adjuster can help them determine if it needs to be replaced. An accident can cause unseen damage to the seat and it might no longer provide good protection. You will also need to replace a child's care seat if it becomes damaged and when your child outgrows it. To dispose of an unsafe car seat, cut the harness straps so that another parent doesn't find it and use it.

To protect your child properly, the car seat should be correctly installed in your vehicle and your child should be correctly harnessed in to the seat. An estimated 85% of car seats are used incorrectly. Manitoba Public Insurance has a free Car Seat Inspection program where a trained car seat technician will check your child's car seat to ensure it is installed and used properly.

More information related to vehicle safety:

ManitobaParentZone acknowledges the assistance of Manitoba Public Insurance in the development of this information.