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How to Donate a Car Seat

By Jennifer Zimmerman ; Updated April 18, 2017

Car safety seats are one of the most important purchases you make for your child. In fact, hospitals will not allow you to take your newborn home without one. Police officers will ticket you if your child or children are not restrained properly; that's how important the use of car safety seats is. So naturally there are some very expensive seats on the market, which people want to donate after their children outgrow them.

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Donating Car Seats

Avoid charity organizations. No reputable charity is allowed to accept donated car seats because they may have been in accidents or been recalled.

Check out your car seat. If your seat has even been in a minor accident, do not try to donate it. The materials may have been weakened, rendering it not safe.

Make sure your seat is still usable. Check to make sure that the date on the bottom (usually on the label on the underside of the seat) has not passed. Then write down the exact name and date of the seat and check the safety recall list to make sure that your seat is not on it.

Contact friends and relatives. Since charitable organizations cannot accept used car seats, you can ask friends and family if they or anyone they know needs a car seat.

Send it to parenting class. Call your local birthing center to see if they can use your car seat in their parent education classes.


Suggest that the new owners visit their local fire station for a free car seat safety inspection after installing the seat.


Don't forget to include the directions. If you've lost them, you can print new ones from the manufacturer's website.

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About the Author

Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.

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