FAMILY SAFETY

Four ways to figure out if you have a counterfeit car seat

Mar 13, 2024, 6:17 PM | Updated: 6:29 pm

STANSBURY PARK, Tooele County — When it comes to her kids, there was no way Sydney Fryer was going to go cheap.“I actually did a ton of research before I bought car seats,” she said while putting her kids into their car seats outside a Stansbury Park grocery store.

In her mind, she couldn’t do enough research to make sure her kids were as safe as possible.“I would stick to reputable brands and retailers for sure,” she said.

Of course, those well-known brands can be a little pricey at times.

That is why it can be tempting to buy something similar online that is cheaper.

However, the Tooele County Health Department says that is where you can run into problems.“They aren’t crash-tested the same way that a lot of the name-brand car seats are,” Megan Raschke said.

 

The Tooele Health Department

The Tooele Health Department is finding counterfeit car seats. (Greg Anderson, KSL TV)

Workers have seen enough counterfeits to warn about them, saying sometimes those third-party online sites do not have the same quality as reputable sites.

“We encourage you to either buy it in-store or if you’re going to buy it online, make sure you’re buying it actually from the website of the brand,” Raschke said. “We also do not recommend buying a used one because we run into the issue of them being expired. The plastic over time does not stay as sturdy. The other issue is if it has been involved in a crash, you should not be using the seat anymore.”

A legitimate child car seat will also come with a registration card

Often, counterfeit seats do not.

“The registration is important because if there is ever a recall or issue with that car seat, the actual company will reach out to you and fix whatever issue it is. Either they will send you a different part or try to get you into a situation where the recall is not affecting it anymore,” Raschke said.

The Tooele County Health Department says the registration card is one of the four most important things you can do to check if a seat might be counterfeit.

Raschke is a health educator with the Tooele County Health Department.

Car seat safety is one of the classes she helps teach.

Lately, Raschke says her office sees more counterfeits when it offers safety checks and monthly classes.

“I think we see more in the Tooele area just because it is easier to order a car seat in rather than go and shop and that’s where we run into issues with third-party sites,” Raschke said.

What to look for in a counterfeit car seat.

  1. Check the labelsCounterfeits are often missing those labels or have grammatical mistakes or even in a foreign language besides English and Spanish.
  2. There isn’t a manual or registration cardIn the United States, car seats are required to come with those.
  3. Check the harnessCounterfeits often do not have a chest clip and come with thin straps.
  4. The cost is too good to be trueA counterfeit seat will cost and even weigh less than a standard one.

That research is what Fryer did when choosing car seats for her children.

She feels you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

“I care about the safety of my kids,” Fryer said.

The Tooele County Health Department holds free child car seat classes every month where you can also purchase seats at a lower price.

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Four ways to figure out if you have a counterfeit car seat