This is my complete guide to Free Infant Car Seat for Low Income Families.
This article takes an in-depth look into free infant car seats for low-income families. From the need for a newborn seat, price range, need, organizations providing these free car seats to how to start your hunt for them, we’ve covered it all here. So, how to get a free car seat?
Let’s find out.
Introduction: Free Infant Car Seat for Low Income Families
What is a newborn seat? Why should parents look into buying one?
A baby car seat is specially designed to ensure the safety of newborns and babies during transportation. It’s no surprise that traffic can get really rough and accidents aren’t as scarce as they should be. Even if we keep the worst-case scenario aside, the jerks that babies can receive during transportation have the potential to harm them.
That is why buying a newborn car seat or looking into car seat programs for low income families if affording one isn’t possible is a must-take step for new parents. The same goes for new parents who are looking into getting a new car.
It is understandable that buying a car is already an expensive affair and investing in a newborn seat may not be a primary concern but remember a little caution comes a long way and is always better than the cure. If buying a newborn car seat seems a little too steep, that is what free car seat programs come into the picture which provide free infant car seats for low income families.
It should additionally be noted that there are numerous hospitals across the country which don’t let parents take the baby home from the hospital if the discharging car doesn’t hold the newborn seat.
Also Read – How to Get Free Cars Legally: For Those In Need
Price Range for a Newborn Seat
There is a wide variety of options to choose from but it is crucial to remember that one shouldn’t go for the cheapest option. If you look for a newborn seat, you’ll also find cheap low-back booster seats which cost about fifteen dollars but they provide little to no support to the baby it holds. If that’s the only one you can afford, it is advisable to look into car seat programs for low income families.
On the other end of the financial spectrum are combination and convertible seats which are about three hundred dollars. They’re a luxury and aren’t compulsory. If you look in between there are ample options for safe newborn seats which cost between a hundred to two hundred and fifty dollars.
How to get a free car seat if none of these options seems to be affordable? There are various ways to obtain an affordable or free baby car seat that we are going to explore here.
Also Read – How to Get Free Car From Government
Free Infant Car Seats for Low Income Families: Where to Start
If you look up ‘Where to get a free car seat near me?’, you will receive an alarming amount of results which can naturally feel daunting. A lot of resources are not found throughout the country but are limited to certain states or localities.
Out of all the car seat programs for low income families, finding one that suits your needs can feel difficult but it really can be easy if a well-researched step is taken into it. Following are some ways which can help you start out your hunt for a free infant car seat:
The 2-1-1 Program
United Way can be reached through their website or through their toll-free number i.e. 211. It should be noted that United Way doesn’t provide aid on its own but connects the caller to organizations that do. It is the best place to get the answer to the ultimate question here: Where to get a free car seat near me?
The WIC Office
While looking for a free baby car seat, one should definitely look into the nearest WIC office. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. Like the name suggests, this organization works toward their welfare. Some WIC offices do have a WIC free car seat program but if they do not, then you can ask them for references to other organizations which provide
This is a great place to check for a free car seat. Go to your local WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office if you’re already enrolled with them, and ask if they have a free car seat program
or help with car seats. If your local WIC office doesn’t offer free car seats, ask them if they can refer you to other places that have free car seat programs.
Local Health Department
Calling your local health department is a smart move while looking for a free infant car seat. Many local health departments conduct car seat safety classes that low-income families can attend and get a newborn car seat from. They even go ahead and ensure that these parents correctly install the free baby car seat.
Fire Departments & State Police
If you are passing through your local police office or fire department, step in and enquire about the provision of free baby car seats or car seat programs for low income families. Even if they are unable to provide you with a newborn car seat, they will surely try to connect you to free car seat programs that do.
As mentioned, most hospitals do not allow parents to take the baby home from the hospital until they have an installed newborn seat. You can ask the hospital for car seat programs for low income families after explaining your situation to them.
Almost all health insurances, even Medicaid provide free baby car seats to insured mothers and pregnant women.
Local churches have a branch dedicated to helping the community. You can write to them, detailing your situation and asking for help. If their resources allow them, you are bound to receive help, if not they can definitely help you reach other car seat programs for low income families.
Car Seat Check Station
An easy online way to answer the question ‘Is there a free car seat program near me?’ is to search ‘Car Seat Check Station’ on any online browser. You’ll be asked to enter your zip code and they provide the names of free car seat programs near your area.
Organizations/ Programs That Provide Free Infant Car Seats for Low Income Families
Let’s individually take a look into a few free car seat programs or organizations that can help you acquire a free infant car seat.
- Safe Kids Coalition:
This organization connects people to car seat programs for low income families. Following is the link to their official website: http://www.safekids.org/find-your-safe-kids
- Seat Check:
A newborn car seat is no good if it is not installed properly. That is why it is crucial to get the car seat installation checked. This can easily be done through seatcheck.org which helps you find a certified technician to do so.
People who are Medicaid members can reach out to this organization for help. It should be noted that their help is limited to Minnesota. After an eligible person submits their application for a free infant car seat, they need to wait for approval.
If your application is approved, you will receive a free infant car seat in two to three business days. They even help people understand the installation process and the proper way to use the delivered free infant car seat. Following is the link to their official website: freecarseat.org
- Ohio Buckle up for Life:
Let’s start by stating the apparent, this organization provides free baby car seats to the citizens of Ohio. They successfully provide free infant car seats for low income families due to the funding they receive from Toyota.
Their official website also provides information about other state’s car seat programs for low income families in addition to a ton of information about child passenger safety. One amazing detail is that they have detailed videos about correctly installing and using free infant car seats.
In addition, the website provides links to other partners throughout the country that may assist in finding free car seats in other states.
- Minnesota Everyday Miracles:
As the name suggests, this organization provides Aid in Minnesota. It is situated in Minneapolis and works to help low-income mothers with their needs. In order to avail of any aid from them, you need to fill out a request form where you need to specify your needs. In addition to newborn car seats, they also provide other things like breast pumps and doulas.
A new mother, as well as an expecting one, can apply for these free car seats.
It should be noted that this organization does receive a lot of applications for free infant car seats which may lead to some delays to receive a response from them.
Let’s briefly talk about their other provisions. In order to obtain a breast pump from them, you need a prescription from your healthcare provider. When it comes to a doula, you should fill out a request around twenty-six weeks of pregnancy.
- Baby 2 Baby:
This is one of the nationwide free car seat programs which assists low-income families with children in the age range of newborn to twelve years old. So how does this organization provide help? Does it provide free infant car seats for low income families?
Baby 2 Baby partners up with other organizations throughout the country and provides donations to provide affordable aid to low-income families and children to receive items of need. Their current functional area spreads over forty cities.
Most organizations tied up to Baby 2 Baby focus on diapers but they do provide other items in need.
Also Read – Free Transportation Services for Disabled: Guide
Car Seat Trade-in and Recycling Programs
This is quite different from the rest of the car seat programs for low income families that we’ve discussed so far. As of now, there is a car seat manufacturer and two major retailers that have car seat trade-in programs. So, how do they help in acquiring an affordable newborn car seat?
They do not provide free baby car seats. Instead, they provide discount coupons and gift cards in exchange for old car seats. There are some local government car seat programs for low income families which offer trade-ins.
Once each year, Target also holds a special newborn seat recycling event where a person receives a significant discount on buying a new one in exchange of an old one which can be expired or damaged.
They hold a variety of newborn car seats which include harness and boosters sears as well as car seat bases. You can find out about their program on their website. In order to participate in the newborn seat Target program, you need to be a Target Circle member.
Their exchange program for a car seat for newborns provides Walmart gift cards worth thirty dollars. All you need to do is to bring in your old car seat to a Walmart Supercenter that is participating in the program and do the exchange at the customer service counter.
It should be noted that Walmart only allows two gift cards per household. On the plus side, they accept all kinds of newborn seats. They can be of any brand except for booster seats.
Clek was the first and only car seat manufacturer with a recycling program in 2013 which coordinated its car seat programs for low income families in The USA as well as Canada. It should be stated in advance that Clek does not provide free baby car seats and thus their price range should be checked in advance.
Why You Should Never Buy Used
We’ve read enough exchange in and recycling car seat programs for low income families to prompt this question. There are a lot of reasons why one should never use a second-hand car seat. The only time one can and should be if you are buying from someone you know and trust about the history of the seat.
We’ve listed down a few risks of buying used car seats:
- We cannot be sure of the history of the baby or newborn seat. If a seat has been in a collision, it cannot be considered completely safe.
- The technical issues a seat can have are not visible to the naked eye.
- It is incredibly crucial to note that car seats for newborn children have expiration dates and many second-hand sellers do not produce the manufacturing date of the seat they are selling.
If you do have an expired newborn seat or you can get a free baby car seat which is damaged, do not be tempted to use it. Instead, get it exchanged for a discount or a new affordable or free infant car seat.
Also Read – Free Car for Low Income Families: Trusted Ways
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about ‘Free infant car seats for low income families’ have been answered below:
1. How Do I Get a Free Car Seat in Texas?
You can get in touch with SafeRiders through their phone number: 800-252-8255 or their official email: [email protected]
2. How Do I Locate Free Car Seats near Me?
The easiest way to do so would be through United Way which can connect you to the various car seat programs for low-income families around you.
3. Does Target Provide Free Car Seats?
No, Target does not provide free infant car seats but they do seasonally hold exchange programs where you can get reasonable discounts in exchange for old, damaged or expired car seats.
The Article Comes to an End
Car seat programs for low income families identify the need for child safety and so should you.
Irrespective of your financial background, you can and should obtain a baby or newborn seat and correctly install it in your vehicle. It should always be kept in mind that safety is infinitely better than the cure.