Preventing Child Injury in an Auto Accident

With the start of summer less than a month away and many of you planning some long awaited warm weather fun on the road, we want to remind everyone to think ahead on one of the most important, but often overlooked safety preparations – ensuring that child safety seating in your vehicle is up to standard and ready for use.

An unfortunate fact in British Columbia is that many children are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year simply due to lack of effective seating, or because sub-par equipment has been kept long past its usefulness.

With ICBC reporting as many as 1,300 injuries or fatalities annually in children aged 9 years or younger related to child car seats or booster seats, further research suggests that these numbers can be reduced significantly with the risk of fatality being reduced by 71% and the risk of serious injury by 67%.

The numbers are clear, so how can you ensure your children are protected this summer? Here are some helpful tips to consider:

The Four Stages of Child Seating and Restraint Systems in British Columbia

Children will outgrow everything! This includes car seats and booster seats; which is why you must ensure you are using the correct type and size of seat – not only to avoid injury, but also to ensure you are following the law of the road in British Columbia.

The four stages of seating that you need to be aware of are:

1. Infants:

Infants are required to sit in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 12 months old and over 9kg (20 lbs.)

2. Toddlers:

Toddlers are required to sit in forward-facing car seats from at least one year old and over 9 kg (20 lbs.) and should continue to be buckled into this type of seating until they are 18 kg (40 lbs.)

3. Children under 9 years old:

Children under 9 years old are required to be in booster seats with seat belts or until they have reached a height of 145 cm (4’9”) tall

4. Youth:

A properly adjusted seat belt is the last stage for anyone over 9 years of age

Is your Child's car seat installed correctly?

One of the most common problems leading to serious injuries or fatalities of children when riding in a motor vehicle is an incorrectly installed car seat or booster seat. Prior to driving with a child for ANY period of time, you should always check:

  • Your vehicle owner’s manual for any information on installing child car seats
  • Transport Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Standards website (
  • The manufacturer’s manual that came with your car seat
  • The Provincial rules or regulations regarding car seat, booster seat or seat belt use in your vehicle

Always do your research! If you are still not sure whether you have installed your child car seat correctly, there may be other resources offered online or in your community that can help you.

Be Aware of Safety Recalls

We all want to make sure that we buy the best equipment, especially when it comes to the safety of our children and our vehicle passengers – unfortunately, in an age of fast production and mass production, sometimes flawed equipment can make it to consumers unnoticed. This is why you should always try to be aware of any potential safety recalls and recall lists for car seats or booster seats that you own or use in your vehicle. Some sources to keep in mind and up to date on for safety recall information include:

  • Transport Canada
  • The Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada
  • The Manufacturer Website for your specific car seat or booster seat
  • Local Media Announcements
  • Social Media Groups

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a traffic accident, contact our compassionate and experienced legal team at Tim Louis Law & Associates. We will help build your claim for the compensation you deserve. To book your free consultation, call 604-732-7678 or email We’re here to help.