Low-income families who need financial assistance obtaining car seats should first contact the birthing hospital. Some hospitals offer infant car seats to new mothers or have information about resources that can assist low-income parents, explains Parental Guide. Local women, infant and children centers; fire departments; and police departments may have assistance programs as well.
Individuals should contact their health insurance providers, as many offer free car seats as part of the plans’ coverage, explains eHow. Some insurance companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, offer free car seats to nonmembers. Churches and other local religious and community centers may provide low-income families with free car seats. Local municipalities may offer free car seats and other resources. Individuals can also contact their local Safe Kids organizations.
Depending on the location, state public programs may provide free car seats, such as the Safe Riders program in Texas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The program also provides free educational courses on child passenger safety. In Virginia, individuals can participate in the Low-Income Safety Seat Distribution and Education Program to obtain free car and booster seats, states the Virginia Department of Health.
State laws require car seats in all 50 states, according to Parental Guide. Although new car seats are expensive, parents should avoid purchasing used car seats. Secondhand car seats may have been involved in prior vehicle accidents, may have parts missing or may be less effective due to deterioration over time through use.