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Car seats bought in U.S. are illegal here

SIMCOE, ON, JAN. 31, 2008 – Car seats and booster seats purchased in the United States are illegal in Canada, warns the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

“With the rise in the Canadian dollar, more Canadians are crossing the border to buy consumer products,” noted Health Promoter Karin Marks, “but car seats and booster seats purchased in the United States do not meet Canadian safety standards. In fact, it is illegal to import and use a seat that does not comply with Canadian standards.”

The Health Unit is urging parents to purchase car and booster seats for their children in Canada, and to check the seat to ensure it carries the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) label.

All car and booster seats sold in Canada must have a CMVSS label, which indicates the seat meets Canadian safety standards. Canadian safety tests include dynamic testing, which determines the performance of a seat by placing it on a sled with a crash-test dummy and running it through a simulated front-end collision.

“The U.S. does not use the dynamic testing for car and booster seats, so its seats cannot guarantee the same level of safety,” Marks said. “Transport Canada is concerned that parents and caregivers may not know that it is illegal to import and use in Canada a seat that does comply with Canadian standards.”

All provinces impose fines for using a car seat or booster seat that does not carry the CMVSS label. In Ontario, for example, drivers can receive a $110 fine and two demerit points off their driver’s license.

Additionally, if the seat is purchased outside Canada and a recall notice is issued, the parent or caregiver may not be informed of the recall and a child’s safety could be jeopardized.

For more information about car seat safety, contact Marks at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170, Ext. 3273 or Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371.

Media Contact:
Karin Marks, Health Promoter,
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, 519-426-6170, Ext. 3273