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3 tips for purchasing a car seat for a baby or child

Are you expecting your first child? Has your toddler started to take his first steps? Is it already time for your eldest to graduate to a big-girl booster seat? At Auto Value, we take to heart the safety of each and every pint-sized passenger on Canada’s roads. That’s why we’ve put together the following guide to help you choose the right car seat for your precious progeny.


1. Avoid car seats with an unknown history

Even if a second-hand car seat seems brand new, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. Its components could have been damaged by any number of factors, such as sun exposure, temperature variations, cleaning products, spilled (or regurgitated!) food or drink, or a previous crash. What’s more, used car seats are often expired. The length of time a car seat can safely be used for varies from model to model (usually around 5 to 10 years), and these expiry dates should always be adhered to. Bottom line: spare yourself the potential trouble by only purchasing a car seat if you know it’s brand new.


2. Choose a car seat according to your child’s weight and height

There are three main types of car seats on the market: 

– Infant seats (rear-facing)

– Child seats (forward-facing)

– Booster seats

Has your infant outgrown his rear-facing “shell?” Before you buy a bigger seat, measure and weigh your child so you can choose a model that’s perfectly suited to his body type. Make sure to also measure the distance between the seat and the top of your baby’s head in seated position. For more practical tips, see the Child car seat safety section on Transport Canada’s website.


3. Choose a Transport Canada-approved car seat

Stay away from low-quality, foreign-made car seats. These might save you a couple of dollars initially, but be aware that they could have manufacturing defects or an unknown expiry date. To avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure that the model you choose features Transport Canada’s National Safety Mark (a round sticker with a maple leaf)—in fact, it’s illegal in Canada to use a car seat that doesn’t.

Once you’ve purchased the seat, carefully install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Need a hand? Various organizations across the country can verify the installation of your child’s car seat for free. Contact your local health-care provider to find one near you.


Auto Value, your safety partner

To enjoy peace of mind while on the road with your family, make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected at one of our Certified Service Centers.


Service is the difference. We get it!

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