Child Safety Seat

Keep Children Safe

In Alberta, it is the law that a driver must ensure children under the age of 16 are properly restrained. You can reduce the likelihood of a child being injured by as much as 71 per centwith proper car seat installation.

In order to get the most benefit, you must ensure that your child is using the appropriate child safety seat. Children must be in a:

1. Rear-facing car seat (birth until at least 2 years)

  • Children are safest in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years old OR until they have reached the maximum weight/height limits stated by the manufacturer.
  • Always check the car seat manufacturer guidelines to see the maximum weight and height limits that are in place.

2. Forward-facing car seat (2 years until 6 years or 40lbs)

  • By law in Alberta, children under the age of 6 who weigh 40lbs or less must be in a child safety seat. 
  • Children should be in a forward-facing car seat until they are at least 6 years old or weigh more than 40lbs AND have reached the maximum height or weight limit for the car seat (as stated by the manufacturer).

3. Booster seat (6 years or 40lbs until a seat belt fits properly)

  • Booster seats are not required by law in Alberta. Drivers must ensure children aged 6-15 or who weigh more than 40lbs wear a seat belt. However, booster seats are highly recommended because they help position a child so the shoulder-lap belt fits across the child’s chest and hips, rather than their neck and stomach. 
  • Your child should remain in a booster seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limit for the booster seat (as stated by the manufacturer) AND a seat belt fits properly.

4. Seat Belt

  • Your child is ready to use a seat belt when the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly. This is typically when a child is at least 4’9” tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
  • The seat belt fits when:
    • The child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when they are sitting against the back of the seat
    • ​​​​​​​The shoulder belt crosses the chest and stays between the child's neck and shoulder (not between the chin and neck)
    • ​​​​​​​The lap belt crosses the child's hips (not the stomach)
    • ​​​​​​​Children are safest and should remain in the backseat until they are at least 13 years old.

Source: Government of Alberta Transportation, as of October 2020

Related Pages

Last edited: October 30, 2020