Is your child’s car seat safe? How to spot knockoffs when shopping for a new car seat

In this May 16, 2015 photo, Kate Clark, Public Relations and Events Manager at Britax, demonstrates how to install the Click Tight infant car seat at the New York Baby Show. The annual New York Baby Show, a two-day extravaganza of experts, gadgets and services, was held on May 16-17. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer, Associated Press)

HOUSTON – It’s the leading cause of death -- motor vehicle crashes kill hundreds of children every year, but the right car seat can greatly reduce that risk.

However, hospitals across the country are finding more counterfeit and fake car seats.

Health experts say 42 counterfeit car seats and 34 foreign-made car seats were found during inspections. They’re on track to match those numbers again this year.

Experts recommend parents to not buy from a third party. And before you spend money on a travel system, zoom in on the picture to check for labels.

If you already have a car seat for your child, make sure you find the following:

  • Check the straps and anchoring parts.
  • If there are no lower attachments or a chest clip, it might be counterfeit.
  • Read the label – all federally compliant car seats should say it “conforms to all applicable federal motor safety standards.”

If you’re unsure about your child’s car seat, consult a technician in your area to make sure it’s safe.

You can find a nationally certified child passenger safety technician in your area at and click on “Car Safety Checks.”

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.