News

Colorado Urges Parents and Caregivers to Get Car Seats Checked

September 16, 2011 - Traffic Safety - Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 18-24

DENVER – Parents and caregivers will have an opportunity to have their children’s car seats checked as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24. Certified child passenger safety technicians from communities around the state will be available to inspect car seats and provide free hands-on advice at events being held statewide (see complete list of events below).

“We want to help parents best protect children when traveling in a motor vehicle,” said Corp. Eric Wynn, Colorado State Patrol. “During Child Passenger Safety Week, we urge all parents and caregivers to have car seats checked by a certified technician to make sure it is installed correctly. We also want to emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next one. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for error.”

From 2006–2010, 64 child passengers, ages 0–12 died in traffic crashes in Colorado.  Of those fatalities, 20 were children ages 4-7. Over half (55%) were improperly restrained, totally unrestrained or using only the vehicle seat belt (which does not provide adequate protection). Children ages 4–7 who use booster seats are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash compared with children who are restrained only by seat belts.  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 them 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, which half of children will not reach until they are 12 years old.
  • The minimum fine is $82 per violation. All child passenger safety violations are primary enforcement.

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 or 303-239-4625 in Metro Denver.

 

Child Passenger Safety Week Events:

CORTEZ

Friday 9/23- Southwest Memorial Hospital, 1311 North Mildred Road, 3 pm - 7pm: car seat checkup event

 

DURANGO

Wednesday 9/21 - Durango fire and Rescue – Station 2, 1-4 p.m.: car seat checkup event

Thursday 9/22 - Walmart 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.: information table

Thursday 9/22 - Durango Recreation Center, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.: information table

 

ENGLEWOOD

Saturday, 9/17 – Englewood Fire Dept. 3075 S. Tejon St., 8 a.m.-12 p.m. car seat checkup event

 

EVERGREEN

Saturday 9/24 - Evergreen Fire Safety Day in Bergen Park 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: bilingual technician available

 

GOLDEN

Saturday 9/24 – Golden Fire Station, 911 10th Street, Red Cross Safety Day – University of Colorado & Golden Fire Department, Car Seat Checks from 10am to 2pm

 

IGNACIO

Monday 9/19 - SUNUTE Community Center, 9 a.m. - Noon: education table, open to community.

 

LOVELAND

Saturday 9/24 – Loveland Fire Department, Station 3, 900 S. Wilson, Car Seat Check Fit Station – by appointment only, call 970-962-2614

 

PAGOSA SPRINGS

Saturday 9/24 - The Nurturing Center, 802 Rosita Street, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: car seat check up event

 

PINE

Tuesday 9/20 - Upper Pine Fire - Forest Lakes Station, [6891 CR 501]  12 p.m. – 3 p.m.: car seat checkup event

 

WESTMINSTER

Saturday, 9/17/11 - Westminster Fire Rescue, Station 2, 9150 Lowell Blvd., 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., call for an appointment: 303-658-4500

 

WHEATRIDGE

Friday, 9/23 - Seyfer Automotive, 4501 Harlan Street, Car Seat Check Fit Station – 8:30 a.m. to Noon, please call for an appointment: 303-422-5261