NOTICE Regarding Car Seats for Children with Special Needs
“Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) requires all drivers to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured in a seatbelt, child care seat or booster seat. All child car seats manufactured for use in Canada must have a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) label made under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (authority of the federal government or a statement of compliance on the seat. Child car seats without this label or statement of compliance do not meet CMVSS requirements and are not legally permitted to be used in Canada.
Clinicians are often asked to support clients with positioning in a motor vehicle who have unique seating needs related to postural control or other physiological conditions. Until recently, clinicians have been recommending certain specialized care seats such as the Britax Traveller Plus and Hippo and car beds to accommodate needs. These particular specialized options no longer carry the CMVSS (Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) designation and we are not aware of any alternatives that currently carry this labeling. The CMVSS rules set the safety requirements that must be met or exceeded to help protect occupants during most real world types of vehicle collision. These regulations apply to child and infant restraint systems, booster cushions, restraint systems for disabled persons and restraint systems for infants with special needs (Transport Canada).
Any children’s car seats which THRIVE staff are asked to support or explore with a family must follow the transportation legislation and have CMVSS labeling for children whose height, weight and age require them to use a car seat or booster seat. Our THRIVE staff are unable to recommend vehicle seating systems that do not have the CMVSS designation clearly labelled on the equipment. The safety of alternative seating systems are outside of their scope and they cannot advise on this matter, nor provide a letter supporting the use of such equipment.
Of note, at a recent Canadian Seating and Mobility Conference, news was received that the Britax Traveller Plus is to be replaced by a new Canadian approved car seat in the near future. If accurate, this will be well received by all.
THRIVE Child Development Centre