New Transport Canada child safety seat standards in effect
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Anyone currently shopping for a new child car seat might be concerned and confused about the Federal government's new rules and regulations, and how they'll affect their children. It extended the deadline for manufacturers to implement the new regulations by a year (from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012) to ensure a proper inventory of compliant seats, allowing a year's grace period where seats could be built to either the older or newer standards.
But there's plenty of facts that aren't terribly clear or are being misreported...
Just because the new regulations are in effect, that doesn't mean that you need to rush out and replace your child's current car seat. Transport Canada says that the older regulations helped keep kids safe for years, and the only time replacement is required is if the car seat is in a vehicle that's been in a collision - even if your child wasn't in it - or if the seat has passed its expiry date.
Without getting into too many specifics, the new testing standards are designed to reflect the increasing size and weight of Canadian children, and to put a stronger focus on side-impact protection. Any seat with a manufacturing date of January 1, 2012 or after and is marked with a Canadian standards sticker will comply. Seats built before, during the grace period, could be either or, but a call to the manufacturer is the easiest way to find out.
There's a pretty good FAQ page on TC's site that's worth a visit.