FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Some hospitals in North Texas are warning parents about counterfeit car seats.
Several have been found at local hospitals in recent months and now they're telling people what they need to look out for.
Since November 2021, Cook Children's Hospital said they've seen at least eight counterfeit car sears and Parkland Hospital said they've seen at least a dozen and the parents had no idea their children's car seats weren't safe.
"I don't want some parent to unknowingly put their child at risk," Cook Children's trauma injury prevention coordinator, Sharon Evans said.
Evans said it's scary to see this happening and now she wants all parents to know what's going on.
"When we saw it we were hoping this was just kind of a small website that they bought it off of and we started looking, it's pretty much out there on many reputable sites," Evans said.
She said she also received calls from other hospitals who are seeing them more recently, too.
Parkland said many are knockoffs which offer little to no protection in a crash, in a statement.
"They're so flimsy there's no way they would protect a child in a crash," Evans said.
Evans said they'd see parents bring them in during car seat check events, these seats are bought online and cost around $300 and they typically look nice on the web, but that's not the case in person.
"It has nothing on there that it's passed any kind of crash testing," Evans said. "There not the stickers that even tell you what the bare minimums are as far as weight and height."
Evans said these fake car seats typically have no type of identification on them or any basic instructions.
She explains what other red flags to look for.
"The buckle is hollow like where you would insert the clips, you can look at it," Evans said. "It's very lightweight which is always appealing because they're heavy when you put a child in them, but the padding if you pull back the padding there's absolutely nothing just plastic."
If you are concerned or have questions you can have your seat checked for free virtually with Cook Children's. Click here for details.
Tips to avoid getting a knockoff or fake CRS car seat:
• Does the manufacturer have a website you can easily find? With online sites, be sure the seller is not a third-party.
• Is the CRS listed on the American Academy of Pediatrics list? This list contains only CRSs that meets FMVSS and are permitted for use in the U.S.
• Does the deal appear too good to be true? If so, there's a good chance you're looking at a fake CRS.
Items that should be present in an approved car seat include:
• Certification label with the required phrasing and a registration card.
• Car seat manufacturer brand printed or engraved.
• Clear printed instructions, labels on the CRS indicating its use and correct installation.
• Model number, working customer service number and manufacturer date.
• Car seat parts such as a "buckle" and a "chest clip." "If you have any questions about whether the seat is real, contact the CRS manufacturer,
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