Child Passenger Safety

After a cold spring, warm weather is here, and families are packing up the car for summer road trips. In June, Car Seats Colorado, a joint effort between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol (CSP), offered families some tips on staying safe on the roads this summer:

  1. Ensure your children are in the right size car seats.
    Make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the car seat, booster seat or seat belt that is appropriate for their size. All passengers in your vehicle should be buckled up on every trip, the entire time.
  1. Make sure straps are snug.
    Traffic Safety Pulse July 19A common mistake parents make with car seats is not ensuring straps are tight enough. Often, car seat straps have too much slack and kids are too loose in the car seats. Use the “pinch test” to check — if you can pinch some of the strap between your fingers, it’s too loose.
  1. Place kids in the safest location in the car.
    Parents are often pressured by kids once they hit the tween years to move to the front seat. The safest place for them is in the back seat until the age of 13.
  1. Don’t unbuckle restless kids.
    Instead of giving them a “break” from the car seat, keep them busy. To alleviate demands for restroom breaks that are really signs of boredom and restlessness, be prepared with books, games, music and comfort items. Snacks and movies can help keep them calm for a little more time.
  1. Don’t turn the car seat forward because you want your child to see the road.
    A child’s age, height, weight and physical development, as well as the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations, should be considered before you ever turn a car seat forward or move your child to the next type of car seat. Visit com for a list of inspection stations across the state.
  1. Don’t attach toys or aftermarket add-ons to the car seat.
    Toys, cup holders, rear-seat mirrors or anything else not originally included with the car seat can act as a projectile during a crash. Keep the seat and surrounding area free from clutter.
  1. Be sure to attach the car seat base to the seat of the car.
    It may sound obvious, but some parents, especially those with two-piece car seats, forget to secure the base first. Double-check all car seats are properly attached before hitting the road.
  1. Never leave your child in the car unattended.
    In minutes, temperatures can rise to fatal levels in Colorado’s summer sun and heat. Don’t take the chance.