The Insurance Company of British Columbia, formally known as ICBC to most British Columbians, is always updating their policies to reflect the improved safety standards for children riding in cars. It’s a pain in the butt, but it is one of the most important things that we can educate ourselves on when it comes to kids that commute places inside vehicles.
You can see the most up-to-date version of the car seat rules and regulations set forth by ICBC here: Link takes you to a PDF document of their brochure.
A few of the most important points:
Newborn to toddlers Stage 1 (Bucket seats or
- Rear-facing! No exceptions!
- Up to one year or older and 9 kg/20 lbs
Preschoolers/Stage 2 (Convertible car seats or , rear or forward-facing)
- Must be 20 lbs/9 kg and one-year-old
- Up to 18 kg/40 lbs at the very least
- May face backward if allowed by manufacturer per their designed weight limit
Big kid! Stage 3 (Booster seat)
- Must weight at least 40 lbs/18 kg
- Use until at least 9-years-old or 145 cm/4’9″
Stage 4… AKA “Where has the time gone?”
- No car seat or booster seat.
- Must be 9-years-old or 145 cm/4’9″, whichever comes first.
Bucket / Infant Car Seats:
Car Seat for Toddler to 40 lbs (This one can safely hold bigger newborns as well)
Other considerations: Do not allow your child to sit in the front seat of a cat that uses an airbag unless they are 12-years-old or older. Air bags are far too powerful for younger children and can cause life-threatening injuries.
Please keep in mind that these regulations are frequently updated and always enforced. The regulations I have described above pertain only to British Columbians or vehicles traveling inside the province of BC.
Child seat safety experts encourage you to use rear-facing whenever possible and for as long as possible with your kids. Also worth noting is that if your car seat weight limits are more or less than the guidelines set forth by ICBC, always use your car seat manufacturer’s guide lines (as suggested by ICBC). For example, if ICBC suggests rear-facing up to 20 lbs yet your car seat says up to 36 lbs, use 36 lbs as your guideline.