The dangers of counterfeit car seats and how to spot them

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 9:17 AM CDT
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(CNN) - With inflation at a 40-year-high, many people are looking to save a buck, but officials at one U.S. hospital are urging parents not to chance their children’s safety.

They say they’ve encountered dozens of counterfeit car seats, and some parents may be using them unknowingly.

Since January, officials at Orlando Health say they’ve identified 27 counterfeit car seats, and 11 foreign seats, which were discovered as they helped parents strap in their new baby before leaving the hospital.

“A counterfeit car seat is a car seat that is non-regulated anywhere and is made somewhere and is not crash tested but a foreign car seat is crash tested, maybe in Europe, but those standards don’t meet the US standards,” said Courtney Gleaton the Injury Prevention Coordinator with Orlando Health.

To make sure your car seat is safe, check the straps and anchoring parts. Officials say knockoffs may not have lower anchor attachments or a chest clip.

Look out for paperwork. A car seat manual and registration card are included in all federally compliant car seats in the U.S.

And read the labels. A federally compliant seat will have a warning label showing it complies with federal motor vehicle safety standards.

“If it does not have any of those labels in English and Spanish,” Gleaton said. “If the labels are in another language, that can be an indication that it is a counterfeit car seat.”

Hospital officials say many of these car seats are bought online through third party vendors.

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Many times when counterfeit car seats are discovered, parents can’t get a hold of the vendors that sold them, and have no way to get their money back.

Hospital officials urge parents in this situation to report them, which you can do at

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