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Colorado Car Seat Laws

A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Colorado

  • The rear-facing seat requirements for children in Colorado are at least 1 year old and 20 pounds.
  • Children of ages 1 to 4 with at least 40 pounds can use either a rear-facing or forward facing seat.
  • Booster seats can be used by children younger than 9 years but older than 3 years.
  • Colorado allows children weighing at least 20 pounds and 1 year old to sit in the front seat.

Rear-facing seat Child Car Seat Laws in Colorado

Colorado law requires children to ride in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh 20 pounds or more and are at least 1 year old. However, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) insist on children using the rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years old or until they exceed the manufacturer’s height and weight limits. The rear-facing seat should be secured in the back seat (not the front seat) and away from an active airbag. This type of seat is designed to protect your child from injury since the fragile body parts are cushioned against frontal impact by the back of the seat.

Forward-facing Child Car Seat Laws in Colorado

The state of Colorado specifies that children between the ages of 1 to 4 weighing 20 to 40 pounds must ride in a car using either a rear-facing seat (if they have not met the height and weight requirements) or forward-facing seat. This means if your child is less than 20 pounds and over 1 year old, he or she is not allowed to switch to a forward facing seat until the weight requirement is exceeded. Children should keep using a forward-facing restraint system until they exceed the manufacturer’s limits. Most of these seats can support children of up to 65 pounds or more. A child using this seat must be kept in the back seat at all times and the seat should have a 5 point harness to better distribute crash forces. Also, the restraint system should be secured according to the manufacturer’s manual.

Booster Seat Laws in Colorado

Children with age range 4 to 8 years are required by law to seat on a booster seat in a manner that is in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.  Also, the seat should meet federal safety standards. A five point harness child safety-seat can be used for younger children or the car’s in-built lap and shoulder belts can be paired with a booster as the child grows older and taller. Your child should use these types of seats until he or she is 4’9’’ or taller and at least 8 years old. Experts recommend that children should stay in a booster seat until the car’s seat belt crosses their upper thighs, chest and shoulders. Their feet should also touch the floor of the vehicle with the knees bending at the edge of the seat.

When Can My Child Legally Seat in the front in Colorado?

According to Colorado law, your child qualifies to sit in the front seat once he or she is eligible for a front-facing seat (at least 1 year and 20 pounds). However, this is not recommended and it’s against AAP guidelines. While you are required by law to put your child in a child restraint system until age 8, it is not safe to put any child safety-seat in the front seat. However, once children are at least 8 years or older and have a height of 4’9’’, they can graduate from a booster seat to a regular seat belt. This means that they can now sit in the front seat or back seat as long as the seat belt registers a firm fit. 

Exceptions

In case of a medical emergency, a child is not required to by law to use a child restraint system. Also, commercial vehicles such as school buses and taxis are exempt from implementing these laws in Colorado.

More Colorado Laws

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