Lewis County Opportunities, Inc.    8265 State Route 812    Lowville, NY  13367
Telephone:  315-376-8202    Fax:  315-376-8421    Location and Business Hours     Contact Us

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Child Passenger Safety
Secondary Car Seats:  A Cautionary Tale

Car seats for infants and toddlers are meant to keep them safe and secure.  While a parent wants a quality car seat, sometimes the cost can be an issue or outright inhibitive for some.  Buying a used car seat at a garage sale or getting a hand-me-down seat may seem like a thrifty idea to help curb the cost; however this is one area to avoid jumping at that apparent great deal.  Although the price of a used or free may seem like a bargain, it could cost dearly.

Why the big deal?  First, used car seats most often do not come with the manufacturer's instructions (vital for correct installation).  Second and possibly more important, the car seat could be missing important parts, have been involved in an accident, could fall short of current safety standards, or have been recalled due to faulty design.  Third, plastic that the car seat is made from can become brittle as it ages.  Basically, a seat that's too old could break in a crash due to questionable structural integrity.

You would never want a car seat that has ever been involved in an accident.  Think of it like a bicycle helmet.  These safety items are a one-and-done item. After a crash, no matter how minor, you simply cant know the weakness that may be present but not visible. In addition, its recommended to replace your car seat if it is more than six years old even if it has never been involved in a crash.  You can usually find an expiration date stamp or sticker somewhere on the seat.

The best option is to purchase a brand new car seat and complete the warranty/recall notification paperwork that comes with it.  If you cant afford a new car seat, please contact us at 315-376-8202.  Our Child Passenger Safety program provides car seats for infants and toddlers of income eligible custodial parents or legal guardians at no charge.  Call us to set up an appointment to meet with a Certified Traffic Safety Seat Technician to demonstrate proper installation, fit for child, and usage of car seats. 


Community Impact At A Glance In 2017, 76 car seats were distributed through the Child Passenger Safety Program; ensuring safe and properly fitting car seats for children.  A total of 62 adults were educated on proper use and installation.


Application Procedure:
1. Please note there is an income eligibility requirement in order to receive a car seat.  Income eligibility guidelines are the same as WIC services.
2. Applicants should contact our New Bremen Office, at 315-376-8202, to set up an appointment. Or, email us!
3. The applicant will need to fill out an agency intake form, Distribution of Agreement form, and Release of Liability form.
4. Before receiving a car seat, the recipient will need to review a training video that explains proper installation and use of the car seat.  Recipients will also learn how to properly install, fit the child to the car seat, and learn proper usage techniques from our certified Traffic Safety Seat Technician.
5. The recipient will need to have a vehicle present in order to physically install the car seat themselves.
  The Child Passenger Safety program is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.

Copyright 2003-2018 Lewis County Opportunities, Inc.