43 20th annual crime prevention guide FAMILY VIOLENCE INITIATIVE Department of Justice Canada mark that lasts for several hours would not be considered "transitory and trifling". The Supreme Court of Canada also said that the force used must not be degrading, inhumane, or harmful. The person using force must not use an object, such as a ruler or belt, and must not hit or slap the child's head. Finally, the Supreme Court of Canada said that the seriousness of the child's misbehaviour is not relevant. The force used must be minor, no matter what the child did. The use of force when managing children's behaviour There are times when parents, caregivers, and teachers may have to use force to control a child and keep the child, or other children, safe. Grabbing a child to keep that child from running across the street, carrying a screaming three-year-old out of a store, or separating two young students who are fighting may require a parent, caregiver, or teacher to touch or restrain the child. Without section 43, parents, caregivers, and teachers could face criminal charges and have to go to court to defend their actions whenever they used force to respond to a child's behaviour. Summary The use of force to correct a child is only allowed to help the child learn and can never be used in anger. * The child must be between two years old and twelve years old. * The force used must be reasonable and its impact only "transitory and trifling". * The person must not use an object, such as a ruler or belt, when applying the force. * The person must not hit or slap the child's head. * The seriousness of what happened or what the child did is not relevant. Using reasonable force to restrain a child may be acceptable in some circumstances. Hitting a child in anger or in retaliation for something a child did is not considered reasonable and is against the law. Need help right now? Call to speak to a counsellor 1-800-668-6868 Kids Help Phone 24/7