Stage 2: Forward Facing Child Seat

Is My Child Ready for Stage 2?

For his/her safety, your child should stay rear-facing as long as possible. Best practice is to remain rear facing to the limits of the seat. (CPSAC, 2015)

Seat Installation Check

  • Car seat is facing the front of the vehicle.
  • UAS or seatbelt is routed through the forward facing belt path (check seat manual)
  • Check for tightness by gripping the seat at the belt path with your non-dominant hand and give it a firm handshake motion. Seat should not move more than 1 inch side to side or front to back.
  • The top tether strap is attached to your vehicle’s top tether anchor (check your vehicle manual in the child restraint section).
  • Unless your vehicle’s manual states otherwise, the UAS system should only be used until the weight of the child and their seat combined reaches 30kg (65lbs). After this, the seat must be installed using the seatbelt.

Child Harness Check

  • The shoulder straps are at or slightly above your child’s shoulders.
  • You should not be able to pinch any excess harness horizontally at the child's collarbone.
  • Chest clip is in line with the child’s armpits.
  • There are no twists or folds in the harness straps.

Is My Child Ready for Stage 3?

​Once forward facing, best practice is to remain harnessed to the limits of the seat, and until at least 40lbs and developmentally ready to move to a booster. (CPSAC, 2015)

The law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown a child car seat but are too small for the adult seat belt. If a child has outgrown a harnessed seat by weight or height but is not 18kg (40lbs) and developmentally ready for a booster, look for a taller, higher-weight harnessed seat. A booster should be used until your child fits the seat belt safely.