There are a few free car seat programs that can help qualifying parents. Low income families can get help paying for, or free, infant as well as baby car seats. Infant and child car seats save lives. By law, children must be buckled up in a car seat that is made for their weight, height, and age. A proper baby car seat is essential… and also expensive. Buying a used car seat is not recommended as baby car seats have expiration dates and should not be used if they’ve ever been involved in a crash (which can be hard to verify). Here we list resources available to parents in need of a car seat.
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National Free Car Seat Programs
If you’re eligible for Medicaid, a free car seat might be covered by it after taking a short car seat safety course.
Some national insurance companies also offer a partial reimbursement for the purchase of a new car seat. Reach out to your insurance company to find out if they offer this benefit.
If you’re enrolled in WIC (a supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children), they have a program that provides vouchers that can be used to purchase a car seat. You’ll most likely be required to take a short class on car seat safety first.
And Buckle Up for Life is a child passenger safety education program that has donated over 60,000 car seats to low-income families. They work with different local organizations to provide resources, education, and training to parents in need. If you qualify, you can take one of the organization’s child passenger safety classes to get a free car seat.
National charities often provide free children car seats as well. There are two big ones to try that a family will tend to have the most success in contacting for help. They include the Salvation Army as well as the Assistance League.
Free baby and infant car seats are also provided by a non-profit known as Safe Kids Coalition. This is a nationwide agency. Now not every location will have one, but even if they do not they will try to refer the parent to a resource in their local town, city, or county.
Baby 2 Baby is a national organization that strives to help children who are living in poverty ages 0-12 (3). They partner with and donate to several organizations around the country that help provide essentials to parents and children. Depending on where you live, you could get a free car seat through one of their partner organizations.
Statewide Free Car Seat Programs
Every state in the US has its own resources that provide free car seat education, installation services, and safety checks. Many of these programs also provide free and reduced-price car seats for families in need. The Safe Convertible Car Seats website lets you browse by state to find what’s available in you state. Just click on your state what services are available in your home state.
Local Free Car Seat Programs
Check with your local Police stations and fire departments; They may also be able to point you toward local organizations that provide new parents with car seats.
Ask your hopsital as well, they might be bale to direct you towards some great local resources.
Finally, you can call 211 to get Essential Community Services in your area. Powered by United Way, 211.org serves people who need help finding food, obtaining housing, and paying their bills. Depending on the services available in your area, they may even be able to direct you towards a local organization providing free car seats for parents in need.
Once you have a car seat, if you want to make sure it is installed properly, some fire stations, police department, hospitals and other organizations have Car Seat Technicians (CST) available to check the installation of your car seat. Call your fire station or police department ahead of time to confirm they offer this service (you might need an appointment too) or check this page to find a CST in your area (enter state and zip code to get a list). Or to find help in your area, go to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. You can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236.
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