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Is Your Baby’s Car Seat Safe? Intermountain Health Experts Share How to Spot a Counterfeit

Intermountain Primary Children's health experts have a warning for parents: You may be using a counterfeit child car seat, putting your child’s safety at risk.

(PRUnderground) April 5th, 2024

Pediatric health experts from Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital have a warning for parents: You may be using a counterfeit infant or toddler car seat, putting your child’s safety at risk.

“The number of ‘counterfeit’ car seats, or car seats that don’t comply with strict U.S. safety standards, is rising in Utah and poses a major safety concern,” said Karlee Kump, community health manager at Primary Children’s. “Counterfeit car seats often are sold online, and sometimes by major retailers, at a steep discount. They’re not worth the savings. Counterfeit car seats are not safe, and can fail to keep children restrained in a crash, resulting in tragic consequences.”

Here’s what to look for in a car seat:

All car seats meeting U.S. safety standards have a registration card, manual and these four labels:

  • Manufacturing Label: This has name of the car seat, date of manufacture, branding, model number, and expiration date. Sometimes this expiration date is stamped in the plastic instead of on the label.
  • Warning Label: This includes a yellow header that states: “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).” This label will be in both English and Spanish, and often appears near where the baby’s head goes.
  • Serial Number: A white label contains red and black lettering, indicating that the car seat has passed federal standards.
  • Model name or number: This appears with the manufacturer’s name and telephone number.

Here are a few other tips to ensure the car seat you’re buying is safe:

  • Research online, but buy in person or from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Make sure the seat you’re looking to buy is listed on or
  • Register your car seat. This allows the manufacturer to alert you to recalls or other important information — and can help verify the seat’s legitimacy. Each car seat is connected to the manufacturer with a unique serial number. Counterfeits often use fake or duplicate serial numbers that cannot be registered successfully.

Beware of:

  • Websites containing grammatical errors.
  • Car seat labels that contain grammatical errors or appear blurry.
  • Seats with missing labels.
  • Prices that seem too good to be true. Deep discounts rarely happen on car seats, especially on the more popular trending brands.
  • Seats that only have a 3-point harness, which is illegal in the United States. Look for straps that go over the hips and shoulders. In counterfeit car seats, the chest clip is often missing.
  • Materials that don’t feel right. Counterfeit car seats are made of cheaper, flimsier materials. They feel more like doll accessories than a heavy-duty car seat made to protect a child in the event of a crash.

“If you discover you’ve purchased or are using a counterfeit car seat, stop using it and contact the retailer right away to tell them that they sold a counterfeit,” Kump said. “You may be able to recover your cost if you used a credit card or purchased through a major retailer.”

For help with evaluating or installing your car seat, find a technician near you or call Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital to book a virtual or in-person car seat check at 801-662-CARS.

For more information go to

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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