Free car seat safety events during National Child Passenger Safety Week

News Release

September 18, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - Car Seats Colorado addressing the estimated 66% of improperly restrained Colorado children

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa Eventos de revisión de sillas infantiles y oportunidad de recibir sillas gratuitas en la Semana de la Seguridad del Pasajero Infantil en español.

Statewide — Despite advancements in vehicle safety, car crashes continue to pose a substantial risk to children, and 66% of caregivers in Colorado are still misusing car seats. Car Seats Colorado, a collaboration between the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol, is taking proactive measures to address and improve the safety of our youngest passengers.

National Child Passenger Safety Week, observed from Sept. 17 to 23, is an opportune moment to focus on the alarming data surrounding child passenger safety and educate parents and caregivers about the importance of proper car seat use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, 710 children under the age of 13 were killed in passenger vehicles nationwide, and over 100,000 more were injured. Shockingly, 36% of these child fatalities involved children who were not properly restrained.

A new analysis from AAA, which examined five years of crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, points to the lack of proper child restraint use among children injured or killed in car crashes nationwide. The analysis showed that nearly half (48%) of children aged 10 and under who were injured and half (51%) who were killed in car crashes were either using a vehicle seat belt prematurely or had no restraint instead of a car seat. To see the full analysis, click here

The situation in Colorado is equally concerning. State data from 2022 revealed a troubling 66% car seat misuse rate in Colorado. And, between 2018 and 2022, 36 children under the age of 8 lost their lives in passenger vehicle crashes within the state.

“Our little ones rely on us to keep them safe, especially when it comes to car travel. Children can't protect themselves, and that's why it falls upon parents and caregivers to ensure that they are properly secured when riding in a vehicle,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “It’s your responsibility to equip yourself with the knowledge and resources to keep them safe on the road.”

According to child passenger safety technicians, car seats and booster seats are commonly misused in these ways:

  • The car seat is not correctly fit to the child’s height, weight and physical development
  • The harness is not tight enough
  • The chest clip isn’t in the correct location
  • The car seat base is too loose
  • Parents and caregivers move their kids out of a booster seat too soon. Kids 8 to 12 years old are at a high risk for death or injury because of this
  • Healthcare groups are also seeing an increase in the use of counterfeit car seats, or seats brought in from other countries or purchased online that don’t comply with U.S. safety standards

In response to the need for education and awareness, Car Seats Colorado, in collaboration with community partners, is hosting several events for parents and caregivers during National Child Passenger Safety Week:

Children’s Museum – Friday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Car Seats Colorado, with support from the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus and DOTI’s Booster and Seatbelt Engagement program (BASE), will have certified car seat technicians available outside the main entrance of the museum to answer questions and demonstrate the basics of car seat fit and installation. The booth will also feature a coloring activity for kids. Families that visit the booth and take a short survey will receive a voucher for buy-one-get-one museum admission and be entered into a raffle to win a free car seat.

Denver Zoo – Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hosted by the Child Passenger Safety Collaborative of Colorado, visitors will receive a free car seat or booster seat (while supplies last) or a free ride on the carousel and train after learning about child passenger safety. The Collaborative will also be offering free car seat checks outside of the zoo’s main entrance.

Colorado Springs SafeKids – Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (appointment required)

SafeKids will be hosting a free car seat check event at the Colorado Springs Fire Station 4 (2280 Southgate Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80906). Call 719-305-7233 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

"Children are among the most vulnerable passengers on the road, and it's our responsibility to protect them. There is no reason a family or community should experience heartbreak due to a lack of knowledge on how to use available protections," stated Trooper Kent Trimbach from the Colorado State Patrol. "We urge parents, grandparents and any caregiver to join us at these hands-on events to ensure their children's safety every time they ride in a vehicle."

In addition to these events, Car Seats Colorado offers a wealth of educational resources and materials, available in English, Spanish and 15 other languages, to provide valuable information to parents and caregivers. This includes instructional videos and information on how to recycle a used car seat. For more information from Car Seats Colorado, click here.

If you are unable to attend an event but have questions about car seat use or would like to schedule an inspection, click here to find a car seat inspection station near you. Inspections are always free and available statewide.

If you are unable to afford a car seat for your child(ren), WeeCycle and SafeKids Colorado both have programs through which families are able to get a free car seat. Visit their websites for more information.

About Car Seats Colorado

Car Seats Colorado is a joint effort of the Colorado State Patrol, CDOT, local car seat technicians, law enforcement, emergency services and other professionals who are dedicated to implementing child passenger safety programs and encouraging parents to take the necessary steps to protect their children when in vehicles. Learn more about how to keep children safe in vehicles and download informational resources at