Is your child's car seat safe? Reports of fake car seats worry KC parents

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Photo credit T. Pleydell / Getty Images

Parents are concerned about reports of fraudulent, unsafe car seats popping up across the metro. Prairie Village Police Officer Mark Brown says these so-called car seats do not follow federal regulations. 

"What we mean is they don't meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards that car seats have to meet in order to be used in the United States," Brown said. 

Brown was first alerted of fake car seats in the Kansas City area by a specialist at Children's Mercy. There are a few things to watch out for, Brown says."If it's a five-point harness, it won't have the chest clip," Brown explained. "The plastic itself will feel flimsy and light. The stickers - if there are any stickers on it, often times will have very little writing, or no writing, or the writing will be in Chinese."

Brown says the seats are coming from online retailers, like Amazon, but cutting corers on cost is not worth compromising your child's safety. 

"Everyone wants to spend their money the best way, and I totally understand that," Brown said. "But we also want to make sure you're not cutting corners. If it seems like too good of a deal, it probably is."

If you buy a car seat online and it feels flimsy, is missing pieces or doesn't have safety information on its label, Brown says not to just throw it out, but destroy it - to ensure it doesn't fall into an unsuspecting parents' hands. 

The most sure fire way to ensure your child's car seat is keeping them safe? Buy it at an old fashioned brick-and-mortar store, that way you know exactly what you're paying for.