A hospital in Idaho is warning parents about the danger of purchasing knock-off car seats, as many parents aren’t aware that they are purchasing car seats that don’t meet federal safety standards. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise came up with the idea when Brittany Joplin, a car seat technician at the hospital, noticed a knock-off car seat while inspecting a new mom’s car before discharging her.
“It’s pretty terrifying. There’s no way a child would survive a crash in a seat like this,” Joplin explained to KTVB 7. “All of the seat parts are made of plastic. You can see here the harness doesn’t even fit our training baby properly; the straps come out from way above its shoulders. There’s no chest clip, which is an item on all car seats in the United States.”
According to Joplin, the mom had no idea that the car seat was unsafe, as it had been purchased for her by a family member. Unfortunately, parents often receive or purchase knock-off car seats without realizing it, which means that they are putting their kids in seats that fall short of federal safety standards.
Joplin told KTVB that parents should always do their due diligence when purchasing a car seat and avoid common mistakes like buying a car seat that does not come with an owner’s manual or appears to be made of cheap material. Additionally, parents should always read reviews and consider the source when making such a major purchase.
“We never suggest purchasing seats off Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace because we just don’t know if that seat is going to be safe, or used,” Joplin said. “We don’t know if it’s been cleaned and cared for properly, we don’t know if it’s been in a crash, we don’t know if it’s damaged in any way.”