Rear-Facing Seats

For babies from birth until they are at least one year of age AND weigh at least 10 kg (22 lbs) AND are walking.

In Alberta, the law requires three things to ensure that children are safe while traveling in a motor vehicle:

  1. It must be the right type of seat for the child, based on weight/age/height
  2. The seat must be properly installed in the vehicle
  3. The child must be properly secured (see Part 5) in the child safety seat

Babies must be in a rear-facing child safety seat when traveling in a vehicle. It is safest for babies to stay rear-facing until they are at least one year of age AND weigh at least 10 kg (22 lbs) AND are walking.

  • Read your child safety seat instructions and vehicle’s owner’s manual for use and installation instructions. Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in front of an air bag.
  • Ensure the seat belt or universal anchorage system is tight enough to hold the seat or base securely in the vehicle.
  • Ensure internal straps are snug and the chest clip is at the baby’s armpit level.

The manufacturer’s instructions and labels on each child safety seat state the specific weight, size and/or age of child that the seat will protect. Many seats allow you to keep your baby rear-facing until he or she weighs at least 13.5 kg (30 lbs). Some seats are designed for rear-facing use up to 18 kg (40 lbs). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your seat. Parents need to be aware of the weight and height limits for their baby’s seat in order to keep their baby rear-facing as long as possible.

The rear-facing position provides better safety for babies and young children in crashes. Transport Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society and Parachute Canada all agree that a child should be at least one year of age and walking independently before moving to a forward-facing seat.

If you need help, call a nurse at:

Alberta Health Link 1-866-408-LINK (5465)
(780) 408-LINK (5465) in Edmonton
(403) 943-LINK (5465) in Calgary