Every Canadian province and territory has laws regarding car seats for children. Nova Scotia is no exception and, as a parent myself, this topic has been on my mind. I thought it was time we all had a short refresher on exactly what the Nova Scotia car seat laws are, and how to keep little ones safe when they’re in the car.

Child Less Than 22 Pounds

In Nova Scotia, if a child is younger than one year old or weighs less than 22 pounds, they must travel in a rear-facing car seat. In addition to being rear-facing, infant car seats must restrain both the upper and lower torso, clearly and securely connect to the vehicle, and snugly fit the baby.

Child More Than 22 Pounds

He or she can move into a front-facing car seat once they reach their first birthday AND weigh more than 22 pounds. From then on, children are required to remain in a forward-facing car seat until they weigh at least 40 pounds.

Child More Than 40 Pounds

After reaching 40 pounds, children in Nova Scotia can move from a car seat to a booster seat. They must travel in a booster seat until they are at least 9 years old OR at least 4 feet 9 inches in height, whichever comes first. Booster seats restrain the lower body but do not restrain the forward movement of a child’s torso during a frontal impact collision.

Kids Older Than 9 Years

Kids older than nine years old can wear an adult seat belt and are not required to use a restraint system designed specifically for children. While there’s no law in Nova Scotia that says children can’t sit in the front seat, the dangers to children associated with the passenger seat airbag mean most auto-makers recommend that children sit in the back until they’re thirteen years old. It’s just not worth the risk so play it safe about where children sit in your car.

Kids Under 16

The driver of the vehicle is ultimately responsible for making sure that every child under sixteen in the vehicle is properly buckled in. I’ve been involved in several cases where a car accident happened and a child under sixteen wasn’t buckled up. The driver will likely be found responsible in some part for the injuries sustained even if they weren’t responsible for the car accident. Especially when a child or teenager is in the car – you just have to take that extra moment to hear the click of the seatbelt buckle.

Manufacturers’ Responsibilities For Car Seat

We’ve covered important items that parents need to be aware of, but what about the manufacturers’ responsibilities to consumers? Before being approved, all car seats are subjected to several different types of tests. Their construction must meet certain requirements concerning materials, belt buckles, and performance in crash tests. Car seats that meet the standards come with a label that indicates the height and weight of children they are designed to support, the date of manufacture, the model name and number of the car seat, and the name of the manufacturer.

If you’re buying a car seat from an unconventional source, you must take extra care to ensure it is compliant with local regulations. If you’re buying a second hand car seat, you should always make sure the car seat is structurally sound, has no signs of being in an accident, and properly fits your child.

When it comes to car accidents involving children, it’s my job to hold the at-fault driver responsible. Make sure that you do your part to keep young passengers safe to reduce injuries if a car accident happens.

If you are looking for a car accident lawyer in Halifax or have any questions regarding what happenes when a seatbelt isn’t worn at the time of an accident, call NOVA Injury Law now. We offer FREE CASE REVIEW at 1-800-262-8104 for all car accidents – you’ll learn about the law, your injury claim, and what we can do to help.