Colorado Car Seat Laws
Colorado Car Seat Laws (CO Statutes 42-4-236 and 42-4-237)
What do the child restraint system and seat belt laws in Colorado say?
CO Statute 42-4-236 – Child restraint system law:
- Newborns and infants under 12 months and weighing less than 20 lbs. must be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system in the vehicle’s back seat.
- Toddlers and preschoolers between 1-4 years and weighing between 20-40 lbs. must be properly restrained in a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint system.
- Preschoolers and school-aged children under 8 years must be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- School-aged children and adolescents between 8-16 years must be properly restrained by a safety belt or in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
More on the Law
- If a parent is in a vehicle, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child is properly restrained by a safety belt system or in a child restraint system.
- A person who violates the Colorado child restraint system law commits a class B traffic infraction punishable by $12 – $100
Colorado Car Seat Laws Rear Facing
Colorado car seat laws require newborns and infants under 1 year and weighing less than 20 lbs. to ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
Colorado does not permit a rear-facing car seat to be installed in the front passenger seat. That means you can’t use a rear-facing car seat in a single cab truck when the baby is under 1 year.
Colorado Car Seat Laws Forward Facing
Children between 1-4 years and weighing between 20-40 lbs. can ride in either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants ride rear-facing till they are 2 years old.
It is recommended that you let your child ride rear-facing until they are 2 years before switching to a forward-facing car seat when they outgrow the weight and height limit for the rear-facing.
A child can ride forward-facing up to 8 years of age.
A convertible car seat is an excellent seat to consider when pregnant and planning to buy a car seat. This safety seat can be used as rear- and forward-facing. You can learn about how to choose a convertible car seat.
Booster Seat Requirements Colorado
The Colorado car seat law does not mention the booster seat. According to the law, children between 8-16 years must be secured by a safety belt or car seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Car seat manufacturers require that when a child outgrows the weight and height limits for the forward-facing, you should switch to a booster seat.
They also recommend that a child ride in a booster seat from 8-12 years.
Nonetheless, a child must be secured in a booster seat with a combination of the lap and shoulder belt.
Colorado Seat Belt Laws
Colorado seat belt laws require that a child is to ride with a fastened seat belt about their body when they outgrow the weight and height limit of the booster seat or when they are big enough for the seat belt correctly.
That can be from 12 years of age or earlier if they fit correctly in a seat belt.
Other Car Seat Laws You Need to Know About in Colorado
Car Laws for Other Passengers in a Car
All other occupants of a vehicle above 16 years must use a seat belt.
Colorado Car Seat Laws on Front Seat – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?
The Colorado car seat law only mentions a seat position for the rear-facing car seat in the back seat of a vehicle.
This law does not permit a rear-facing car seat to be installed in the front seat for an infant under 1 year.
Children’s Hospital Colorado recommends children under 13 years and weighing less than 100 lbs. ride in the back seat. This goes in line with national best safe practices.
Colorado Car Seat Laws for Ubers, Taxis, or Cabs
The state of Colorado exempts taxis or cabs from the child restraint laws.
Can You Leave a Child in Your Car Alone in Colorado?
Colorado does not have a law prohibiting parents from leaving a child alone in a car.
Nevertheless, it is not a safe practice, and you are discouraged from doing such.
Is it illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Colorado?
There is no law yet that bans smoking in a car when with a child.
However, for health reasons, you should consider not smoking around them.
Secondhand smoke exposes a child to several health risks which are not suitable for their developmental stage, such as ear infections, respiratory infections, impaired lung function, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs).
Helpful Resource for Car Seat Inspections in Colorado
Here are some go-to resources for more help on car seat installation, car seat inspection, etc., in Colorado.
- NHTSA Car Seat Inspection Stations Directory – Inspection Stations Directory
- South Metro Fire Rescue – Car Seat Inspections
- West Metro Fire Rescue – Car Seat Checks
- Longmont Colorado – Child Car Seat Checkpoint
- Boulder County – Car Seat Check
- City of Federal Heights, Colorado – Car Seat Check-Up
- City of Grand Junction, Colorado – Car Seat Checks
- Poudre Fire Authority – Car Seat Safety Check
- Larimer County, Safe Kids – Car Seat Resources including Car Seat Installation
- Town of Castle Rock – Car Seat Check
- South Metro Safety Foundation – Car Seat Inspections
- Garfield County – Car Seat Inspections
- Evans Fire Protection District – Child Car Seat Safety