There's a new trend in car seats, but it's not a safe one.
Some online retailers are selling counterfeit car seats which could be dangerous for your child. They may look real and often sell for what seems like a great price. Unfortunately, they are not safety tested, are often made of flimsy materials, and are not regulated by safety standards, said Jessica Strong, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital.
If you are in the market for a new car seats, Strong offers these tips in mind to make sure your child has a safe seat:
• The seat should have manufacturer labels, branding, and model number. The manufacturer's name is often stamped into the plastic of the seat.
• Research online, but buy in person if at all possible.
• Check to see if the car seat is listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website NHTSA.gov , or on HealthyChildreen.org.
• Look for the label containing this phrase: 'This seat conforms to federal motor vehicle safety standards'.
• Be sure the seat includes a user's manual and registration card so you can be notified of a recall.
Beware the following:
• If the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.
• Do not purchase a car seat with only a 3-point harness, as they are illegal in the United States. The NHTSA requires car seats to have a 5-point harness to keep kids safe.
• Obvious design flaws, such as a missing the chest clip, are indicators that the seat is not safe.
• Do not purchase unknown brands or from third-party sellers.
If you did buy online and want to double check your car seat, find a car seat technician near you by visiting Clickit.Utah.gov or call Primary Children`s Hospital at 801-662-CARS (2277).
You can also find more information at PrimaryChildrens.org/safety.