Free Car Seats Available to Qualifying Parents
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Keep your baby safe with a free car seat!
Baby gear is expensive, and it can be hard to find a highly-rated car seat for under $100. Buying a used car seat is not recommended, because they have expiration dates and should not be used if they’ve ever been involved in a crash (which can be difficult to verify).
Thankfully, there are programs that provide free and reduced-priced car seats to families in need! Keep reading to learn more about the resources available for parents in need of this essential baby gear.
National Car Seat Programs
If you’re eligible for Medicaid, you may qualify for a free car seat after taking a short car seat safety course. Some national insurance companies may offer at least a partial reimbursement for the purchase of a new car seat too. Contact your insurance company directly to find out if they offer this benefit.
If you’re enrolled in WIC (a supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children), they also have a program that provides vouchers that can be used to purchase a car seat. In most cases, you’ll be required to take a short class on car seat safety first.
Buckle Up for Life is a child passenger safety education program that has donated over 60,000 car seats to low-income families. This national partnership between Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota works 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.
Statewide Car Seat Programs
In addition to these national 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. Check out this handy guide for finding these services in your home state.
Local Car Seat Programs
Remember to check your local area for resources too! Police stations and fire departments often offer free car seat installation services, and they may also be able to point you toward local organizations that provide new parents with car seats.
The hospital where you’re giving birth may also have a program in place to ensure that every family, regardless of income, has access to a safe car seat for their newborn baby. If not, they may be able to put you in touch with an organization in your area that can be of assistance.
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.