Car Seat Information
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at The Medical Center of Aurora
Ninety percent of car seats for children are installed incorrectly and the number one cause of death for children is motor vehicle accidents. At Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at The Medical Center of Aurora, we are dedicated to helping you ensure that your child is safe in your vehicle.
Choosing the Best Child Restraint
- Does it fit your child?
- Does it fit in your vehicle?
- Will you use it correctly every time?
The Law and Best Practices
Children ages 8 and younger
Colorado Law: All children eight and younger must be properly retrained in a child restraint system, such as a car seat.
Children up to age 1
Colorado Law: Newborns and babies must be properly retrained in a rear-facing car seat installed in the back seat of the vehicle until they are at least age 1 and weight at least 20 pounds.
Best Practice: Keep babies in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible-- many convertible car seats are safe to use until the baby weighs 35 pounds.
Children ages of 1 to 4
Colorado Law: After children are age 1 and weigh more than 20 pounds, they must be properly restrained in a car seat.
Best Practice: One to 4 year olds should be in a rear or forward facing seat with a five point harness until they weigh at least 40 pounds or reach the upper weight limit of the seat. Keep your child's seat as long as the seat allows and use upper tether straps if possible. Review your car seat and vehicle's manual to learn more.
Children ages 4 to 8
Colorado Law: Between the ages of 4 and 8, children must ride in a child restraint system. Younger children can use a five point harness safety seat and as the child gets bigger, a booster that utilizes the car's lap and shoulder belt is permitted.
Best Practice: Children between 4 and 8 years old should use a booster seat in the back seat of the car until they are 57 inches tall and at least 8. Use the "5-Step Test" to determine if your child can begin using a seat belt without a booster. Remember, children younger than 13 should remain in the back seat.
- Does the child back against the seat?
- Do the child's knees comfortably bend at the edge of the 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?
Children ages of 8 and 16
Colorado Law: Children between the ages of 8 and 16 must use a seat belt or child restraint.
Best Practice: Your specific booster seat manual can help you determine when he/she can safely stop using the booster. Until you child is at least 13 and 100 pounds, it is important to keep your child in the back seat. When do do allow your teen to sit in the front seat of the car, put the seat back as far as possible in case the airbag deploys.