Back-to-school checklist: car seats and booster seats


Special to The SUN
As parents and children gather their back-to-school supplies, Car Seats Colorado is reminding parents and caregivers about the most important school supply that may not be on their lists — car seats and booster seats.
Reducing the rate and severity of crashes for young people supports the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Whole System — Whole Safety strategy, which aims to reduce fatalities and injuries and “bring everyone home safely.”
Car Seats Colorado, a partnership of CDOT and Colorado State Patrol (CSP), is offering a quick list to keep kids safe and avoid serious injury in a crash.
1. Carpooling? Make sure the designated drivers know the correct seat for everyone’s children.
All drivers should know how to install the seats, and secure every child, correctly. Every car and booster seat model is different, and different vehicles may have varied installation procedures. Check the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations for every seat in the car. You can also read the guide on GrandPrixTimes for using backless booster seat. According to them, “You should check your state’s regulations before you decide to purchase one. Various weight and age limits need to be met before switching from standard car seats to backless booster seat options.”
2. Resist the kid peer pressure.
If your child is reaching the upper limit of a booster seat, they may try to talk you out of using it because their friends don’t use one. Resist the temptation — if your child isn’t big enough, using a seat belt alone can cause serious harm in a crash.
3. Get help from the experts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of every four children are secured incorrectly. Even the most diligent parents can miss something when it comes to proper installation and correct seat size and fit. Back-to-school is an excellent time to visit a car seat check station and have car seats checked by a licensed child passenger safety technician. has a list of check stations statewide.
4. Items in a vehicle can act as deadly projectiles in a crash.
Hockey skates, heavy textbooks and especially unbuckled passengers can cause serious injury during a crash. Imagine a heavy book, or another person, colliding with a passenger at 40 mph. Secure all heavy or sharp objects in the trunk or rear of the vehicle at all times. And make sure every person is wearing their seat belt — even on short trips.
5. Always check for recalls.
Every year, multiple car and booster seat models are recalled due to manufacturing or design flaws. For example, some latches are within reach and too easy for the child to unbuckle. Check every year whether your car or booster seat has been recalled, and always register the seat when purchasing a new one. Be cautious of seats that you inherited from friends or purchased used online. Look on the NHTSA car seat recall database to find out if a car seat or booster has been recalled.
About Car Seats
Car Seats Colorado provides education and resources to help parents ensure their children are riding safely, as well as recycling programs for used car seats and training courses for safety technicians. Car Seats Colorado is comprised of the CSP, CDOT, local car seat technicians, law enforcement, emergency services and other professionals who are dedicated to implementing child passenger safety programs. Learn more at
Whole System — Whole Safety
To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization’s operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.