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Cross-border car seat shopping is a bad idea

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SIMCOE, ON, JULY 26, 2012 – Cross border shopping may be cheap and convenient, but when it comes to buying a child’s car seat or booster seat for use in Canada, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and Transport Canada warn consumers that it is illegal.

“As the Canadian and U.S. dollar are almost at par, many Canadians are crossing the border to buy consumer products,” noted Health Promoter Karin Marks. “However, 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.”

Local car seat technicians, who hold clinics to demonstrate to parents and caregivers how to properly install a car seat into their vehicle, are seeing more and more car seats that have been purchased outside of Canada.

The use of non-compliant car seats may not only jeopardize children’s safety and pose a serious danger to the public, but it may also result in:

  • Confiscation of the seat at the border or after it has entered Canada
  • Fines and /or demerit point penalties
  • Reduced or voided insurance coverage for injury or death
  • Possible criminal charges and/or civil litigation


In addition, if the car seat purchased outside of Canada and a recall notice is issued, the parent or caregiver may not be informed of the recall which could jeopardize the safety of the child using the car seat.

“When purchasing car seats, Canadians need to ensure they are buying one that carries the National Safety Mark. Car seats and booster seats sold in the U.S. or other countries, or online from non-Canadian vendors, do not meet Canadian regulations and will not carry the marking,” explained Marks.

The Health Unit also wants to remind parents and caregivers to always use a child seat that is appropriate for your child’s stage of physical development, weight and height, and to ensure that the child seat is used and installed correctly in the vehicle in accordance with the child seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle’s user guide.

For more information regarding car seat safety or upcoming car seat clinics, contact the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 extension 3273.

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Media contact:
Karin Marks
Health Promoter – Population Health Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3273 at either 519.426.6170 or 905.318.6623
[email protected]