Parents are being reminded of the importance of having the right car seat for their children as they prepare to go back to school.

With the summer holidays drawing to a close, Car Seats Colorado, a partnership of the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol, is providing a quick checklist to keep kids safe and avoid serious injury in a crash:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Get help from the experts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of every four children are secured incorrectly. 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. Car Seats Colorado has a list of check stations state-wide.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.