Colorado Car Seat Laws in 2020 (What You Need to Know)

Colorado Car Seat Laws

As a mother of two little ones, I am always trying to stay up to date on my knowledge of car seat safety. Because car seat laws and recommendations always seem to be changing, I’ve come up with the most recent car seat safety recommendations and laws. To start, here are the main points from the Colorado Car Seat Laws of 2020.

Car Seat Laws in Colorado

What the Law Says About Children Under Age 1

What do the Colorado car seat laws say in terms of car seat safety for one year olds? According to Colorado: The Official State Web Portal, children that are less than a year old and weigh less than 20 pounds need to be seated in a rear facing car seat in the back seat of a car. They also must be properly secured according to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the colorado car seat law for infants?

What the Law Says About Children From 1-4 Years

What do the Colorado car seat laws say about children between 1 and 4 years old? According to Colorado: The Official State Web Portal, children that are between the ages of 1 and 4 and weighing between 20 and 40 pounds must be seated in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat. They also must be properly secured according to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.

What the Law Says About Children Up to 8 Years

What do the Colorado car seat laws say about children up to 8 years old? According to Colorado: The Official State Web Portal, children up to 8 years in age must be seated in a booster seat. They also must be properly secured according to the booster seat manufacturer’s instructions.

What the Law Says About Children From 8-15 Years

What do the Colorado car seat laws say about children between 8 and 15 years old? According to Colorado: The Official State Web Portal, children between the ages of 8 and 15 years must be secured either with safety belts or child restraint systems, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Punishment for Breaking This Law

What is the punishment for breaking the Colorado car seat laws? According to the Colorado General Assembly, individuals may be stopped without other cause if suspected of breaking this law. In addition, if found guilty, there is a $65 fine.

Some Exceptions to This Law

Are there any exceptions to the Colorado car seat law? According to the Colorado General Assembly, this law does not apply in emergency situations. It also does not apply in cases in which children are being transported in commercial vehicles by a child care center.

Proper Installation and Usage

Installing and using car seats correctly can be difficult. According to the Children’s Hospital Colorado, children between the ages of 1 and 4 need have “a car seat with a five-point harness system, which features two shoulder straps, two hip straps, and a crotch strap.”

They also recommend that children should sit in the back seat for safety reasons and that when installing a car seat, it’s important to 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 or forward-facing car seat) according to the vehicle owner’s manual and child restraint manufacturer’s instruction.” 

In addition, they recommend that children don’t graduate too soon to a booster seat, and instead wait until a seat belt fits properly. Specifically, they explain that you know that your child is ready for a seat belt when:

  • The part of the seat belt that crosses the shoulder goes over their chest and shoulder rather than their neck.
  • The part of the seat belt that crosses the lap goes over their thighs, not their abdomen.
  • Their feet touch the floor of the car, and their knees bend at the edge of the seat.
  • They can sit comfortably this way for the entire car ride.

When can I move my child to a booster seat?

AAP Recommendations

There are new recommendations for rear-facing car seat safety. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, up until recently, it was recommended that children remain rear facing until their 2nd birthday. However, in light of new information, they explain that the recommendation is now to keep your child rear facing as long as possible, whilst adhering to the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight holding ability.

They further explain that there are medical and biological reasons for this. They say, “When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are all supported by the hard shell of the car safety seat, allowing the car seat to absorb most of the crash forces, and protecting the most vulnerable parts of the body. When children ride forward-facing, their bodies are restrained by the harness straps, but their heads – which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy – are thrown forward, possibly resulting in spine and head injuries.”

Why Car Seat Safety Matters

There are a lot of eye-opening statistics about car seat safety. According to Children’s Hospital Colorado, the most common cause of death for children is motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, they state that 4 out of 5 car seats are not correctly used. They also note that research has found that using booster seats reduces the risk of injury by 59% compared to seat belt use alone.

They also warn that the car seat laws in Colorado may differ from best practices. For instance, the law requires that children remain rear facing until age 1, but allow children older than age 1 to be forward facing. However, the AAP recommends that children remain rear facing as long as possible, sometimes well beyond their second birthday, as height and weight permit. In order to keep your children safe, you may want to take advantage of this car seat inspection station, available to all Colorado residents.

Conclusion

Car seat safety is a must. Keep your little ones safe by adhering both to the Colorado car seat laws, as well as the recommendations from the AAP and other health experts. The lives of our children are precious. Spread the word on some of these changes. You’d be surprised how many people are unaware of the basics of car seat safety.

Note: The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice. This information was found by searching online for the most recent information. We do not offer any guarantee to its authenticity. We urge you to research these matters on your own and draw your own conclusions.

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