Our experts strongly encourage parents to buy a new car seat. But if you are considering a used one, here are some tips:
• Look for a National Safety Mark sticker showing the seat is Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) approved. This is a must in Canada.
• Make sure the instruction manual is included so you can be sure you’re installing it properly.
• All labels — the manufacturer’s name, date of manufacture, model name and number and expiry date — should be attached and easy to read.
• Find out the car seat’s history. If it has ever been in a collision, it’s not safe to use.
• Check the expiry date, and if it’s past due don’t use it. Never use a car seat older than 10 years.
• Check for recall listings or public notices on the model by calling Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or going to tc.gc.ca.
• Ensure everything is in good condition. Look for frayed harness straps or cracks in the plastic.