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Effective August 1: Colorado’s new car seat law and how your children are impacted

**This post was originally published in May after Governor Ritter signed the new car seat law SB10-110. The law went into effect today. Please keep reading to find out how your children may be impacted.

This was said as we got in the car on my daughter’s recent birthday. I countered with, “Sorry, Tessa. That’s not safe or legal.”

“So when CAN I ride in the front?”

“Mrmbmrmbmrmm……let me get back to you on that.”

Most parents know that a newborn belongs in a properly-installed rear-facing infant seat. But after that, the requirements for safety get a little murky. So just in time for summer travel, here’s the low down on car seats and kids.

Newborn to 1 year. Rear-facing child seat.

The law: requires infants to ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least one year old and weigh at least 20 lbs.

Safety advocates recommend: Restrain your infant in a rear-facing seat as long as possible for the best protection in a crash. Many larger “convertible”-type car seats allow children to ride rear-facing up to 30 lbs.

1 to 4 years old AND over 20 pounds. Forward-facing child seat.

The law: The law requires that children ages one year to four years who weigh 20 pounds up to 40 pounds be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.

Safety advocates recommend: Restrain your child in a 5-point harness system until they are at least 40 lbs. Use upper-tether straps where applicable (refer to your car seat and vehicle’s owner’s manual for more information.)

4 to 8 years.