Car seat technicians in Boise, Idaho are warning parents about knock-off car seats being sold online, KTVB.com reports. The counterfeits fool parents by marketing themselves as known baby brands, while they’re actually faulty products. The public warning comes after car seat technicians at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise came across two counterfeits in the past week.
In one scenario, a technician was running the routine car seat check when she encountered a faux car seat. The product had been a gift ordered on Amazon for the new mom, and she had no idea it wasn’t safe for her newborn.
“All of the seat parts [were] made of plastic," car seat technician Brittany Joplin explains to KTVB. "The harness doesn't even fit our training baby here properly, the straps come out from way above its shoulders. There's no chest clip..."
The harness adjuster was also fixed on a loose piece of metal at the bottom of the seat, which doesn't meet federal testing standards and is illegal to use in the US.
"There's no way a child would survive a crash in a seat like this," Joplin comments.
The scammers get away with their trickery pretty easily by targeting parents or family members making purchases online. It’s hard to tell that something isn’t authentic on the Internet, because legitimate images of the product and brand are used and it’s usually listed in a similar price range.
One way to avoid being duped and promote car seat safety is by steering clear of online purchases from third party vendors. If you live and breathe Amazon, make sure you read the ratings and reviews and only buy an item if it is shipped and sold from Amazon headquarters. We’re all for reusing and recycling, but when it comes to a car seat, you’re much safer buying it new.
Other things to look for when you purchase a car seat is safety documents and papers included in all standard car seats. The frauds don’t typically come with a manual or registration card, and may be missing important federal labels and stickers.
False advertising is unfortunately more common than you think when it comes to baby products. There are some pretty awful people out there who take advantage of new parents who may not have the reins on everything baby safety just yet. To avoid falling victim to their stunts, here are some ways baby ads are designed to deceive parents so you know what to watch for.