2. Child car seats
It is always worth spending money on your child’s safety. Check out car seat reviews and buy the best one you can afford.
Again, Consumer Reports has reviews available to members. Yes, some of these are expensive, but if they save your child’s life, they’re worth it.
Now, I know your jaw may drop when you click on the Parenting link and see that the first recommended seat costs $190. That isn’t doable for some of you. I understand. Buy what you can afford. Anything is better than nothing.
However, do NOT buy a secondhand car seat or booster. If it’s been in a crash, its integrity could be compromised. In addition, an old car seat could be expired. After years of sitting in the sun or freezing in the winter, the plastic may be degraded or the seat may be so old that it no longer meets current safety standards.
If you really can’t afford a car seat or booster of any kind, go to SeatCheck.org and search for a car seat inspection site in your area. Call the site, explain your situation and ask if there are any local resources for free or low-cost car seats.
Police departments, fire departments, health departments and WIC offices may all have free car-seat programs for income-eligible families.