Submitted by Mark Swart / MultiCare.
Earlier this month at MultiCare Tacoma General Family Birth Center, staff spotted a “counterfeit” infant car seat. The Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Safety is now warning parents to play close attention to seats purchased online at prices that may seem too good to be true.
Although the counterfeit seats look like regular car seats, our child passenger safety experts warn that these knock-off seats are not safe.
“A legitimate car seat should have a label clearly stating that it meets federal safety standards, typically in red font,” says Erin Summa, health promotion coordinator and child passenger safety expert at Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety. “To an experienced parent, it might be more obvious that something is wrong, but to a new or expecting parent who’s maybe never touched a car seat before it may be more difficult to spot. This is a great reason to have your car seats inspected by a professional.”
Signs that a car seat could be a fake:
- Made of thin, flimsy plastic (like a doll’s car seat)
- Everything is plastic – even parts that would ordinarily be metal
- Little or no labeling on the seat
- No manufacture date or manufacturer name
- Missing a chest clip and/or instructions
- Purchased from a third-party online retailer, particularly if from overseas and/or made by an unfamiliar company
- Often marketed as a “travel system”
Expectant families can contact the Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety with questions about car seats, and can also visit the following website to schedule an appointment to have car seat inspected: www.marybridge.org/services/childhood-safety/services/car-seat-inspections/