Toronto - As more and more Canadians try to get the most for their money, with the increased value of the Canadian dollar, they're heading to the United States to shop. The Toronto Police Service would like to repeat a very important reminder issued by Transport Canada on November 8, 2007.

Consumers shopping in the U.S. for children’s safety seats for the car should be reminded that, not only is the practice illegal, it may jeopardize a child’s safety.

Child safety seats purchased outside Canada and brought back into the country don’t meet standards set by Canada’s Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Cushions Safety Regulations (RSSR) or those of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), therefore they do not bear the National Safety Mark required in Canada. Every country has its own child seat standards. Canadian regulations differ from those in other countries – including the United States.

Purchasing a child safety seat in the United States, and bringing it back to Canada, could not only result in the confiscation of the seat at the border or after it has entered Canada, it could also lead to fines and/or demerit point penalties. Should the device be used and be involved in a collision, insurance coverage could possibly be reduced or voided completely in cases of injury or death and the owner could face criminal charges and/or civil litigation.

When purchasing a child safety seat for use in Canada, parents and caregivers should ensure it bears the National Safety Mark label indicating it complies with Canadian regulations and standards, making it legal to use in Canada.

Additionally, when shopping online for a child seat, please ensure that the vendor is offering a seat that is certified to Canadian standards and carries the National Safety Mark.

Click here for the Transport Canada Consumer Information Notice

For more information about child seats and child passenger safety, please visit the following web pages:

Toronto Police Traffic Services

Transport Canada

Contact Constable Steve Burns, Traffic Services, at 416-808-1919, for answers to questions on child safety seats.