Booster Seat Safety
Changes in Colorado Law
Until they are 57" tall, kids
are safest in a booster, even
if they are older than 8.
Colorado's new child restraint law states that all children under age 8 must be in a child restraint. When this change goes into effect August 1, 2010, some kids will need to get back into a booster seat.
Safest booster seat use for your child
Once your child outgrows her convertible or forward facing car seat, she will be safest in a booster until she is approximately 57" tall and can achieve proper seat belt fit. In many cases, this means children older than 8 are still safer in a booster.
Use our "5-Step Test" to determine if your child is ready to give up the booster seat.
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat. A booster seat will help the shoulder belt and lap belt fit properly and offer the best crash protection. Your child will be more comfortable, too!
Note: If you car does not have shoulder belts in the back seat you'll need to use a 5-point harness seat with rear tether. This is a safer choice for children that are either very active or under the age of 4.
For the best possible protection, all children should ride in the back seat until they are ready to drive. It's twice as safe as the front seat.
Tips for keeping your child in her booster
1. Let your child help pick out her booster seat.
Some include cup-holders, arm rests and other cool features that will make it more fun for your child.
2. Here are some points for a discussion with your child about why he needs to sit in a booster:
- "The police want you to be safe so there is a new law that all kids must ride in booster until they are 8 years old."
- "Dr. X (insert pediatrician name here) says that you need to be in your booster seat and we always follow our doctor's orders, don't we?"
- "When your knees bend at the edge of the back seat you can safely sit there without a booster."
- Take them to a local fire, police or car seat inspection station. Hearing the rule from an authoritative 3rd party will shift the responsibility off of you.
- Point out the better view and give your child special booster privileges, such as picking the radio station.
- "Because mommy says so." Don't negotiate; your child is safest in booster. Once they know you won't budge, they'll stop negotiating.
3. "Bling" your child's booster seat
Read more about Colorado car seat laws and how to keep your kids safe in the car.
Allow your child to decorate her booster seat with fun stickers, her name or her favorite movie or book character.
You can view some of our examples here, but just get creative based on your child's interests. Have fun!