Child Safety Seat Laws Colorado
Safest practice: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents and caregivers to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the limits of their car safety seat. Many car seats can be used rear-facing until your child weights 35 to40 pounds. This will include virtually all children under age 2 and most children up to age 4. Rear-facing seats offer the best protection during a crash because the whole body (head, neck and torso) is cradled by the back of the safety seat in a frontal crash. They also protect your baby better in other types of crashes, particularly side impact crashes.
By law, children ages 4 to 8 years old (through their 8th birthday) must use either a car seat or a booster seat. For safety, many children need to continue to use a booster seat until they are 12 years old.
If your car seat was previously used, make sure that you have the owner's manual that came with the seat, and that the seat has all safety labels on it. Never use a seat that has been involved in a crash, and don't use a seat if you don't know its full history. Avoid purchasing a seat from secondhand stores, flea markets and yard sales, as there is no way to know the full history of the seat. Every seat has an expiration date; if it is not printed on the seat, then it is usually six years from the manufacture date. Never used an expired seat.
This type of vehicle is not exempt from the Colorado Car Seat Belt Law. If the vehicle you use to transport children at your child care center is designed to transport 16 or more people, then the vehicle would be classified as a commercial motor vehicle and therefore exempt from these requirements. However, transporting children in a vehicle designed for 16-plus requires a driver's license endorsement.
Safety experts recommend that children ages 12 and younger ride in the back seat. Vehicle manufacturers also display warnings against allowing children to sit in the front seat due to the danger posed by air bags.
Make sure your car seat or booster is installed correctly to best protect your child. Several Safe Kids coalition affiliates provide free car seat education and inspection where a certified technician can help with hands-on instruction and installation. Find a car seat inspection station near you.
Colorado booster seat law: Children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old (through their 8th birthday) must continue to ride in a child restraint. This can be a five-point harness child safety seat for younger children or a booster that uses the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt as kids get older and bigger.
Restrain your 1- to 4-year-old child in a car safety seat with a five-point harness system, which features two shoulder straps, two hip straps and a crotch strap. A five-point harness system has more places to distribute crash forces and offers better protection than a lap and shoulder belt.