Colorado’s Child Restraint Law
Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236
Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010
A program of the
Children’s Health Advocacy Institute
Bolded Text indicates Colorado Law.
Similar Text indicates “best practice” recommendations by national safety experts*.
Infants must ride in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat until
they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 lbs.
Safety experts* recommend that children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible for the
best protection in a crash. Many convertible car seats allow children to ride rear facing until 30 lbs.,
refer to manufacturers specifications.
Children 1-4 years old must ride in a car seat.
Again, safety experts* recommend that children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible for
the best protection in a crash.
Safety experts* recommend restraining children in the back seat in a five-point harness car seat until at least 40 lbs. for the best protection. Use the upper tether where applicable; refer to vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Children 4-8 years old must continue to ride in a child restraint.
Typically this is a booster seat.
Safety experts* recommend that children remain in the back seat in a child restraint. Regardless of
age, children weighing less than 40 lbs. are safest in a car seat.
Children 8-16 years old must use a seat belt.
All passengers in a vehicle should always be properly buckled up, either with an appropriate car seat,
booster seat or seat belt.
Safety experts* consider proper seat belt fit to adhere to the following:
(1) The child can sit all the way back against the seat with their knees bent naturally at the edge of the seat;
(2) The shoulder belt comfortably crosses the shoulder between the neck and the arm; and
(3) The lap belt sits low on the child’s hips and touches the thigh
Safety experts* recommend children less than 57” inches tall remain in a booster seat regardless of
their age or weight because of the above factors. The safest location for a child is in the back seat.
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For more information, contact the Colorado Child Passenger Safety Program. (303) 239-4625 or (877) LUV–TOTS or
*Safety experts include The Children’s Hospital in accordance with the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Safe Kids Worldwide.
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