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Hours of Operation:

Seat Savvy is open 7 days a week, 9am - 9pm.

 

Contact:

Angie Aben, CRST

403.980.SEAT (7328)

angie@seatsavvy.ca

 
    Calgary Car Seat Installation

Frequently asked Questions ~

 

I keep hearing that I should rear face my child until he/she is over the age of 2. Is this true?
Answer: YES. It is strongly recommended that children stay rear facing past the minimum age of 12 months and 22lbs. In fact, Transport Canada recently encouraged manufacturers to add a third criteria of, “walking unassisted” to the list of things that children should meet before sitting forward facing. This means that children should, at a minimum be:
-age 1, 22 pounds, and walking unassisted before parents even consider forward facing. Ideally a child will stay rear facing until at least their second birthday, or until they reach the maximum rear facing weight or height limit listed on their seat.

I brought my baby home in an infant car seat, and he’s quickly outgrowing it. What is the next stage?
Answer: the next seat you buy needs to be an “infant/child” or “convertible” seat. These seats can be installed both rear and forward facing. These days it is common for these seats to rear face to 40+ pounds, and later forward face up to 65 pounds. Remember, the safest seat is the one that fits your child, your vehicle and your budget, and is used correctly every time.

How long should my child stay in a 5 point harness?
Answer: children should remain in a 5 point harness until at least 40 pounds, at least age 4, and until they are mature enough to transition to a booster seat and sit correctly the entire trip. Seat Savvy encourages the use of a 5 point harness through age 5. Don’t rush your child out of a 5 point harness.

Are booster seats important?
Answer: YES, extremely. Children who have transitioned out of a 5 point harness should use a belt positioning booster until at least 4’9” tall. Booster seats are easy to use and cost as little as $20, but play a vital role in the protection of children using an adult seatbelt. Boosters raise the child up so that the lap belt is kept low across the thighs (not over soft tummy), and help keep the shoulder belt centered across the child’s shoulder (not cutting into neck or falling off shoulder). Most children need a booster seat until age 8-12. Don’t rush your child out of a booster seat.

Do car seats expire?
Answer: Yes. Each seat on the market has a lifespan. To verify what that lifespan is, see the owner’s manual, or look for an embossment on the shell of the seat. Lifespans range between 6 and 12 years (last updated March 2015), depending on the seat and the manufacturer. It is not safe to use an expired seat, nor can expired seats be “re-certified” as safe.

I keep hearing about these 2012 standards. Is my seat safe if it was made prior to 2012?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. You do not need to replace a seat made prior to 2012 unless you want to. Seats made prior to 2012 passed strict CMVSS crash tests to be approved for use and sold in Canada. The 2012 testing standards are an update to those strict standards.

I keep reading that seats that do not meet 2012 standards cannot be sold, advertised, lent out, borrowed, or given away. Is this true?
Answer: Yes. In the interest of bringing forward a new generation of seats that meet the even stricter 2012 standard, Health Canada has made it illegal to pass on older seats that do not meet 2012 standards. If you have an older seat and want to verify that it meets new standards (some do, even if manufactured prior to 2012) you need to contact the manufacturer of your seat and get confirmation. To do this you will need the model number and date of manufacture.

What are the recommendations when it comes to used seats? Is it safe to use a second hand seat?

It is impossible to know the exact history of a used seat unless you know the previous owner really well. If you do know the previous owner really well, and have confirmed that the seat meets 2012 standards, includes all components, has been well cared for, has never had the harness submerged in water and/or washed with a harsh detergent, has never been involved in a collision and is not expired, you may consider using the seat. If budget is a concern, please keep in mind that the safest seat is not the most expensive seat. There are a wide variety of great seats on the Canadian market for less than $100. Whenever possible, a new seat is preferable.

Can a CRST inspect a used seat and certify it as safe for use and/or tell if it has been crashed?

NO. It is not possible to visually inspect a seat and determine that it has never been crashed. It is not within the roles and responsibilities of a technician to inspect a second-hand seat and determine it to be safe for use. Such practices are not supported by Seat Savvy, St. John's Ambulance, CPSAC, or Transport Canada.

I keep hearing that most car seat accessories are not safe. True or False?

True. If the product interferes with the car seat harness, or alters the way a child's body might react in a crash, or is otherwise not explicitly allowed in the manual, you should not be adding it to your seat. It is important to remember that CMVSS testing (Canadian standards) has no criteria for aftermarket car seat accessories. If a company has crash tested their product and is marketing it as safe for use, they are simply meeting their own independent testing standards. Seat Savvy cautions against the use of most car seat accessories, with the exception of a small few that are accepted practice within the CPS industry. If you have any questions about aftermarket car seat accessories, please contact Seat Savvy.