Parents, beware: 'fake' car seats that are so flimsy they can be bent with your bare hands are being sold online, an Idaho hospital is warning.
St Luke's Hospital in Boise investigated a number of child car safety seats and told KTVB that a number are so weak and poorly constructed that a child would almost certainly die if they were riding in one during a crash.
Several were advertised as name brands but were actually cheap, unsafe knock-offs, car seat technicians found.
More children under 15 die of unintentional injury than by any other cause of death in the US, and the majority of those injuries occur in car accidents.
Effective car seats are life-saving, but parents must be careful to choose the real thing - not temptingly cheap ones.
A car seat technician at St Luke's warned against buying car seats on Craigslist or Facebook market place and explained how gibberish on labels and 'deals' are dead giveaways of a dangerous, counterfeit seat.
Technicians at St Luke's Hospital in Idaho found a number of cheap fake car seats made of plastic so flimsy it bends and with design flaws like high straps (pictured) and missing chest clips that would make them completely unsafe for babies to ride in
Every year in the US, thousands of children die needlessly in car accidents.
In 2016 alone, 128,000 children between ages three and 14 were killed in traffic wrecks.
The single best preventative measure parents can take to make sure their children are properly buckled up and strapped in.
For infants under a year, that means a proper baby carrier, a toddler car seat through age four and a booster seat until they are 4' 9".
A infant good car seat is a steep but crucial investment for new parents.
Modern car seats may look simple, but effective ones are engineering marvels and not a purchase worth cutting corners on.
Sites like Amazon make it easy to compare prices and models, but pictures and descriptions can easily be misleading, specialists at St Luke's Pediatric Education and Prevention Program warned on Wednesday.
Some of the seats the St Luke's technicians saw were so poorly made that they could easily bend the plastic parts meant to secure the car seat into the backseat of a vehicle (pictured)
'IT'S TERRIFYING': FAKE, WEAK PLASTIC SEATS WITH MISSING STRAPS WON'T KEEP A CHILD ALIVE IN A CRASH
During standard car checks following hospital visits and the program's car seat check events, technicians found several terrifyingly flimsy seats.
There were tell-tale signs - if the parents knew what to look for.
At St Luke's Boise location, a woman being discharged with her newborn brought her baby out to a car seat that was all wrong.
Immediately, technician Brittany Joplin saw that the shoulder straps were positioned far too high on the seat. There was a great deal of space above where the baby's shoulders would be, a flaw that could let the child easily slip up and down.
A more damning detail: there was no chest clip to