BATH, N.Y. (WENY) – Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is urging parents to be aware of a growing trend of “knock-off” car seats.

Typically sold online, the car seats are reportedly often made of flimsy plastic, feature plastic buckles instead of metal ones and are missing parts.

Additionally, Allard says the fake car seats don't provide registration cards or owner's manual.

“This is one of the worst kinds of fraud,” Allard said. “People buy these seats because they want to keep their children safe and instead they put their kids in danger.
“If you have a question concerning a specific seat, please contact Sgt. Matt Sorge at 607 622- 3901. One of our certified car seat technicians can answer questions about age and size appropriate seats. Remember, if any deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
The Sheriff's Office also conducts regular child car seat safety checks. The next is set for Thursday, August 15 from 10 to 2 at the Steuben County Fair.

Additionally, income-eligible families in Steuben County may be able to apply for car seats for newborns, infants and toddlers through the sheriff's “Play IT Safe” project.

The project is a collaboration between the sheriff, county Public Health Department and Healthy Families Steuben. More information is available by calling (607) 622-3911, or online here.