It’s a regular Monday morning and I’m driving my little boy to childcare. I strap him into his car seat, crank up The Wiggles and off we go.
It’s an everyday scenario for so many parents. But recently I discovered that the safety of car seats and baby capsules – as well as other parts of our cars – can sometimes be deceiving.
Earlier this year, several parents in the US were shocked when they tried to take their babies home from the hospital when staff identified their capsules as dangerous, missing important safety architecture like chest clips.
They were later revealed to be low-quality and incapable of protecting a baby in an impact. According to a report on US site Motherly, counterfeiters and criminals have been selling dangerous fake baby capsules and hybrid car seat/strollers, even on reputable sites like Amazon, placing children at risk.
I couldn’t believe it. But when I looked back at what I did before my son arrived, I was relieved to realise it was the right thing. We’d carefully chosen a baby capsule to get fitted in the weeks before our son arrived, and it filled us with confidence. We knew we’d be able to bring him home from the hospital safely, ready to start our life as a family of three.
But how could us parents be sure our cars are as a safe as possible? I asked for a little advice from an expert – Fabiola Dos Santos, Senior Brand Protection Specialist at Toyota.
To avoid purchasing a counterfeit baby capsule or seat, Fabiola advises parents to select and buy from an authorised retailer who sells genuine car parts.
“Always ask, how can I be sure? Counterfeit shoes won’t harm or kill you, but a counterfeit baby capsule could and even experts struggle to tell them apart,” Fabiola tells Mamamia. “If you’re buying online, the risk is even higher. If the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.”