As parents, keeping the children safe is always our primary concern. Keeping that in mind, some government/ private organizations offer baby car seat programs. These agencies help struggling households to get a free car seat or arrange one at a very low cost.
You must be wondering how to find such programs and avail the opportunity of getting a free car seat. No worries! In this article, I will discuss in-depth how you can get a free car seat.
Where to Get a Free Car Seat?
- Where to Get a Free Car Seat?
- Government Programs and Services
- Insurance Companies
- Charities And Nonprofits
- National charities
- Local Church
- Safe Kids Coalition
- Private Organizations
- Car Manufacturers
- Local Groups
- How You can Get a Free Car Seat Through Medicaid
- Does the Fire Department Give Free Car Seats?
There are several types of resources where you can turn to for assistance, such as-
- Government Programs and Services
- Health Insurance companies
- Charity and Non-profit Organizations
- Private Organizations
Government Programs and Services
Usually, you should be on some sort of public aid program to apply for the free infant/baby car seat. Such government benefit programs include-
- WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)/ Food stamps
- TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
- Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), etc.
If you are already enrolled in such programs, you can apply to obtain a car seat. Besides you can look into the Department of Social Services, The Department of Children & Family Services Department of Health, Department of Public Safety, and other government organizations, who have programs to provide free car seats.
In some of the states, social services or DSS offices have partnerships with charities and non-profits. Thus, they work together to donate free infant car seats to new parents who are struggling due to insufficient income. It will be wise to keep the necessary documents and proofs ready while applying for the free seat.
An excellent way to find help without asking around different departments is to call 2-1-1. Dialing 211 can help you with finding an affordable car seat. Besides, you can also find assistance with other basic needs, such as food, rent, etc.
Many health insurance companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer free car seat programs to insured new mothers. Check out your policy or contact the customer service of the insurance company to learn about their program. For instance, Superior Health-plan, Amerigroup, or Molina offer such programs, whereas each of them has their own policies.
Medicaid also offers such service, however, it depends on your state. I will talk about it in detail later in this article.
Charities And Nonprofits
In emergency cases, they sometimes offer direct financial aid. Other ways through which they offer assistance include vouchers for thrift stores or family stores. However, be very careful while buying a used car seat. Check with a legitimate charity and make sure that the car seat has a valid expiration date.
You can also check with your church if they have any program available or if they can refer you to one. You can also ask for help being anonymous if you would like to.
Safe Kids Coalition
Safe Kids is a nationwide non-profit agency working nationwide that provides free baby and infant car seats and other safety gear. You can contact them over the phone and talk about the help you need. Even if they do not have a branch in your location, they can refer you to one of the local resources.
Baby2baby is another renowned nonprofit organization. Their mission is to provide basic necessities, diapers, clothing, etc., to children in low-income families. They can also help you to find a free car seat.
Car Manufacturers also provide some assistance programs, where they give free car seats to low -income families with babies and train to install them. Some of such programs are- Buckle Up for Life by Toyota, General Motors Safe Kids Worldwide, etc.
Companies like Nissan and Honda also offer some installation services.
You can check local sites and donors to arrange for a free car seat, such as-
- Craigslist: This is one of the most popular free classified listing sites.
- Buy Nothing Group: This group works for bringing communities together and help people in need to find essential items.
- Facebook Marketplace: This refers to the Facebook-based marketplace, where you can find free or discounted items.
- Nextdoor: Social networking site that brings neighbors together and lists goods for them.
Again be careful while using a used car seat and get the seat inspected to ensure safety.
Local Hospital or Pediatrician
While being in the hospital for the birth of your baby, you can also ask your local hospital about resources. You can ask your pediatrician as well. They can guide you to local organizations or any subsidized program that offer free car seats.
How You can Get a Free Car Seat Through Medicaid
Let’s discuss in detail about how you can get a free car seat through Medicaid. At first, you need to fill out an online application through the healthcare website or through your state’s Medicaid website.
Then your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility. Then you may receive free child care as well as car seat service if accepted.
Bear in mind that you must meet some specified requirements for being eligible to get a free car seat. These requirements are listed below-
1.Nationality: You must have legal permanent residency or citizenship of the United State of America. People from other nationalities will not be eligible for this Medicaid program.
2.Income and Dependents: Next comes your income statements as well as the number of dependents. The evaluation of this criterion varies from state to state based on the average income needed for a feasible livelihood.
3.Disabilities: If the income is above the minimum earning required to sustain a livelihood, they also assess the disability criterion. In this criterion, the medical cost associated with disability assistance is also taken into account to consider eligibility.
4.Attend Safety Course: This criterion applies when you have already submitted an application for a free car seat. You would need to enroll in a short car seat safety course before you are sanctioned for the car seat. In general, the course involves promoting awareness about the proper use and installation of a car seat.
Does the Fire Department Give Free Car Seats?
It may appear surprising to you, but yes, the fire department may offer to give free car seats. The same is true for the police department, courthouse, or other public safety centers. Their assistance program not only arranges for a free car seat but also help with installation and training.
Thus you can get assistance from professionally trained people and their service is absolutely free. How amazing is that! Even if your area does not have such a program, they can help you with information and referral to get one.
Another information that will come handy to you is that you can get a free inspection of car seats as a community service. You can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a referral. Generally, the inspection is carried out by police departments, local hospitals/clinics, or other public health/ safety organizations.
I hope this article helps you to get an insight into the free car seat programs as well as other feasible options. Use this information to get a free car seat for your baby and stay safe together!