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How to tell if your car seat is authentic or a counterfeit | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


DES MOINES, Iowa — Every new parent needs a car seat to help keep their infant safe when they’re on the go.

But did you know that counterfeits on the market can put your child’s safety at risk? And it can be pretty hard to tell which is which.

The counterfeits can be an alluring option for parents: they are often sold through third-party online retailers at a much lower price than their regulated counterparts.

“Who doesn’t like a deal, right? And as a parent, you think it looks like a car seat, it says it’s a car seat, but that is not the case,” said Brenda Vergara, Pediatric Community Outreach Program Coordinator for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

With the off-market seats looking so similar to the real deal, you might be wondering what the harm is in using one. Experts say it all comes down to what they’re made of.

“If those materials aren’t designed to a specific structure standard, they’re not going to be able to absorb the crash forces that are necessary,” said Janna Day, Iowa’s State Child Passenger Safety Coordinator.

Day helps families install their car seats almost every day. She’s come across plenty of counterfeits and offered guidance on how to spot them. 

She says that counterfeits often don’t have federally-mandated safety information or manufacturer contact info displayed on them. Harness straps will often be thinner and more flimsy compared to regulated seats, as well.

If you find that you are using a counterfeit car seat, officials said you should get it replaced as soon as possible to avoid making a potentially deadly mistake.

“We just want to make sure that children are riding in approved car seats and not putting them more at risk when they thought they were putting them in a safe environment,” Vergara said.

If you’ve found that you have a counterfeit car seat, Day recommends reporting the seller to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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