What are your options for getting free and discounted car seats? The cost of raising kids is high, y’all. Baby gear and car seats are among the things that can’t be ignored.
Are you feeling relieved yet, wallet? Our goal is to alleviate some of the burdens associated with raising children. In this article, we will discuss all the ways in which you can get your child a free car seat.
Costs of car seats
There was a median household income of $61,372 in 2017. In addition to doctor and hospital bills, taxes and other living expenses add up. You also have to purchase a car seat, which isn’t cheap.
A car seat’s cost can vary greatly depending on whether it’s an infant or convertible seat. Spending 50 to 350 dollars on an item depends on its quality.
There may not seem to be much here for some. Parents today face many challenges in making ends meet as it is. Parental anxiety can sometimes be heightened by the cost of things, as much as the importance of safety.
It’s important that you don’t feel alarmed. It is possible to find affordable car seats that meet the same safety standards as some luxury brands. You can get a car seat for free if you’re still concerned about the cost.
Free Car Seats: Where to Find Them
Our list of places won’t be able to provide you with one directly. In spite of that, they will be able to direct you in the right direction if they have the resources to do so.
When you can’t find a car seat within your budget, you can take these routes if you’re truly struggling. People who are in need of assistance are helped through these programs.
It may be difficult for those who need these programs to retain them if there are people abusing the system.
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1. Safe Kids Worldwide
Injuries to children are one of the top priorities of Safe Kids Worldwide. Safe Kids coalitions are present throughout the United States in over 400 different forms. Children’s safety is promoted in 30 countries by its partners.
You can contact them if you have any questions about car seats or safety. Safe Kids can help you determine what you need, whether you need installation assistance or financial assistance.
Children passenger safety technicians are trained by this organization. Car seat technicians undergo extensive training on everything related to car seats.
Safety guidelines and new car seats on the market are constantly changing, so CPSTs must stay on top of them. The 40-hour training required to become a CPST is in addition to this requirement.
2. Baby 2 Baby
Children ages 0-12 living in poverty are helped by this national organization. Several organizations that provide essentials to parents and children around the country partner with them and donate to them.
The Baby 2 Baby organization has distributed over 50 million items to families over the past seven years. Through one of their partner organizations, you may be able to get a free car seat in your area.
3. Miracles that happen every day
Anyone with a Minnesota state health plan can receive a free car seat through this organization. UCare, Blue Plus, and Health Partners may all offer state-funded health plans.
CPSTs will deliver a seat completely free of charge to your home or hospital if you are approved.
It is also beneficial to know that some hospitals offer car seats at a significantly reduced cost, but they are not free of charge. However, they can point you in the direction of places where you might be able to get free car seats or brands that offer inexpensive options.
Parents must have a car seat readily installed in their vehicle when they are discharged from the hospital after giving birth. Due to this reason, hospitals are willing to accommodate your budget when it comes to finding a seat. There may be resources available to you from your OB/GYN who can assist you in finding what you need.
5. Service Providers for Children and Women in Local Areas
It is incredible how many resources there are available to women and children through local government departments. Their purpose is to provide assistance to women and children.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office is one of your best options, as is the Department of Child Services.
6. Call “211”
For anyone struggling out there, “211” is a hidden gem. I was unable to help them only find an affordable car seat, but with other basic necessities such as food and rental assistance as well. There’s no doubt that it will help you find the help you need without having to make countless phone calls to various departments asking for help.
United Way runs this service, which works similarly to 911. You will be connected to the 211 call center closest to you when you dial 211. There are approximately 334 million people in the United States who can access 211, which is available in every state.
7. Local CPSTs
CPSTs, or “child passenger safety technicians”, can also provide solace. In addition to being trained by Safe Kids, these car seat experts can assist parents and parents-to-be with all things related to car seats.
CPSTs may be your best resource if you’re looking for a car seat on a budget. You can ask them for suggestions of affordable car seats that are suitable for your child and vehicle since they are constantly undergoing additional training on all car seats available.
8. Police Fire Department
Most police and fire departments have members who are also certified CPSTs. You can usually find the right place to go at most police/fire departments, even if they are not certified.
On Buying Used
Is Janet from the next zip code tempting you with her seat on Facebook Marketplace? This is where I will stop you. Do not take the car seat with Janet unless you have been best friends since elementary school.
Resellers’ descriptions of car seats they wish to get rid of are limited. Many things can be said, whether it’s “excellent condition” or “gently used”. It’s impossible to know the truth without knowing the seller and the car seat’s history.
The same applies to Craigslist and eBay as well as any other reseller site. It is possible to have problems with used seats for a number of reasons:
You cannot be sure that it’s never been involved in an accident if you don’t know its history. If someone offers an old car seat, even minor accidents should be noted.
In the event that a car seat expires, it should not be used. It is possible for the seat frame to deteriorate over time. Metal and plastic can rust and wear down, compromising the integrity of the seat.
Wear and tear that is not apparent at first glance can be the result of non-apparent wear and tear. Additionally, this compromises the integrity of the seat.
Keeping in mind other considerations
No matter how free your car seat is, you should still get good quality. In order to get the best seat possible, you should keep the following factors in mind:
Do you have a reputable organization that sold it to you or a friend who gave it to you? The quality of a used car seat may be lower if it isn’t brand new, but most organizations giving away car seats will give you a brand new one.
The overall quality of the seat will be determined by its appearance. If it looks pretty rough, you may want to skip it. Check inside the car seat to make sure there is no damage, even if the seat looks good on the outside. Before using it, ensure that it has been thoroughly inspected.