Child Safety Information and Resources 2019 16-17-55


Child Safety Seat Laws Colorado

Inspections help ensure you're prepared for a safe and enjoyable day on the water. Conveniently, you may request an inspection at any time. Boat rangers frequently conduct courtesy safety inspections at boat ramps on all Colorado waters.

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While it is not recommended to put a 3 year old in a booster seat (using the lap/shoulder seat belt in lieu of the five-point harness), it is not against the law. The law requires a child to be in a child restraint up to age 8, whether that is a booster seat or a five-point-harness car seat.

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Depending on the severity of the crash, the majority of car seat manufacturers will tell you to replace the seat to ensure your child will be safe. It is not possible to visually inspect the seat to determine if there was damage caused by the crash as not all damage will be visible. Refer to your car seat owner's manual to see the crash replacement recommendation for your car seat. When in doubt, you can always call the manufacturer directly to discuss the crash with an employee.

Safest practice: Children should be in a belt-positioning booster in the back seat until they can use a seat belt that fits correctly. Studies have shown the use of booster seats can reduce the risk of injury by 59% compared to seat belts alone. Keep your child in a booster until:

Safest practice: Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, up to the limits of the car safety seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 years old and most children up to 4 years old. Once they have been turned around, children should remain in a forward-facing car safety seat up to that seat's weight and length limits. Most seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more.

Colorado Law requires children to be in boosters (or other appropriate car seats) until they are 8 years old. However, best practice and the safest recommendation is to keep children in a booster seat until they are about 4-feet 9-inches tall (which is the average 12 year old) and can pass the 5 Step Test*, for seat belts. This is the test:

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According to Colorado Law, children younger than 8 must use a child restraint. Whether that child restraint is one with a harness (there are many that have harnesses that accommodate children up to 60 or even 80 points) or if it is a booster seat is up to you. You definitely have a choice of which type of seat you use to fulfill the law requirement, but you are just required to continue using a child restraint up to age 8.

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Keep your children in the back seat. Always use the upper-tether strap (the long pieces of seat belt material with a clip on the end located on the top back of a convertible car seat) according to the vehicle owner's manual and child restraint manufacturer's instructions.

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Car seats that are damaged, expired, or that your child has outgrown can be destroyed or recycled. Call your local waste management company to find out if they have a car seat recycling program. If not, you can render the seat unusable by cutting and removing the harness, and breaking the plastic shell, or writing "UNSAFE - DO NOT USE" on the plastic shell in permanent marker. The seat can then be disposed of normally.

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