Get Your Children’s Car Seats Checked
Jan 05, 2012 | 10279 views | 0 0 comments | 713 713 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As of August 1 of last year, Colorado law has stipulated that all children under age 8 to be properly protected in a child safety seat when traveling in a motor vehicle. Previously, the law required only 4 and 5-year-olds to be in booster seats.

Noncompliant parents now face a minimum fine of $82 per safety seat violation.

Children ages 4-7 using booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash compared with children who are restrained only by seat belts.

From 2006-2010, 64 child passengers under age 12 died in traffic crashes in Colorado, 20 were children ages 4-7. Over half (55 percent) were improperly restrained, totally unrestrained or using only the vehicle seat belt (which does not provide adequate protection).

Many of these tragedies can be prevented if the children are in the right restraint for their age and size. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local fit station to ensure their children’s car seats are used properly. Colorado law has the following minimum requirements regarding child passenger safety: Babies under 1 year old and less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing car seat and only in the back seat of the vehicle. Once babies turn 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds, the law gives parents the option of using a front-facing car seat. Rear-facing car seats are still allowed by law and safety experts recommend that children continue to ride rear-facing until the age of 2 or when the upper weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer is reached, because it provides the most protection. Children ages 4, 5, 6 and 7 must continue to be protected in a child safety restraint. For most kids in this age group that means a booster seat, but experts recommend that children remain in a forward- facing car seat longer if the upper weight limit of the seat allows it (usually 40-65 pounds). When a child turns 8, the law allows them to use a vehicle seat belt. But for the best protection, safety experts recommend that kids continue to use a booster seat until they are at least 4’9” tall, a height which half of all children do not reach until they are 12 years old.

90 Percent of Children Buckled in Incorrectly

Although motor vehicle crashes still kill more kids than any other cause of death, more than 90 percent of the children who attended safety seat checkups in Colorado last year were buckled up incorrectly.

Parents who need help determining the safest option for their child or baby can visit one of CPS Team Colorado’s 140 car seat fit stations across the state. The fit stations provide free assistance and car seat checks that are conducted by trained child passenger safety technicians. For parents facing financial hardship, some car seat fit stations provide car seats and booster seats at a reduced price or for a small donation. Parents can find a fit station closest to them by visiting www.carseatscolorado.com or calling toll free 1-877-LUV-TOTS.

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