Car Seat Inspections
Riding Safe in the Car
Have you seen the Ultimate Car Seat Guide put out by Safe Kids Worldwide? It's a great new tool to help parents figure out what car seat to purchase, how to install it, how the child is supposed to fit in the seat, and when they should graduate to the next seat.
- Appointments take 30 minutes per car seat.
- Remember that car restraints expire after six years unless otherwise stated.
- Do not buy a used child restraint unless it is from a trusted source that knows the restraint's history.
What is the best car seat to purchase?
- The seat needs to fit your child. If you have a thin tall child you are going to want a seat that has a higher height limit.
- Does it fit your car? If you have three car seats to fit into the back seat, you may need to be looking for a thinner car seat.
- Will your child sit in the seat? With an older child do they think the seat is cool and did they get to help pick it out?
What is the law for kids in car seats?
- Colorado law requires that children up to 15 years old riding in a motor vehicle be properly secured. Children under 8 years old must be restrained in the appropriate child restraint system. Older children must use a seat belt or a child restraint system. A child restraint system is defined as a seating system that meets federal motor vehicle standards which is permanently attached to a motor vehicle or its safety belt system and is designed to protect, hold, or restrain a child so as to prevent or minimize injury.
Colorado Child Restraint Requirements
Less than 1 year and weighing less than 20 pounds
Properly secured in a rear‑facing child restraint system in a rear seat of the vehicle
1 year to 4 years, and weighing 20 to 40 pounds
Properly secured in a rear‑facing or forward‑facing child restraint system
Children up to 8 years
Properly secured in a child restraint system, such as a booster seat, according to the manufacturer's instructions
8 to 15 years
Properly restrained in a safety belt or child restraint system according to manufacturer's instructions
When can my child get out of their booster?
- 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:
- Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
- Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
- Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
- Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child would still benefit from sitting in a booster seat.
*The "5-Step Test" was developed by SafetyBeltSafe, USA.
Where can I check to see if my safety seat has been recalled?
Car Seats and Crashes
If your car seat has been involved in a major or moderate crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you replace the child's car seat. If your car was involved in a minor crash (little exterior or interior damage), the car seat does not need to be replaced unless ALL of the following criteria are met:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was undamaged
- There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants
- The airbags did not deploy
- There is no visible damage to the car seat