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How to Get a Free Child Car Seat If You're a Low Income Parent

Updated on September 6, 2017

Having a child is expensive. Fortunately there are many agencies in the United States that can help low income parents or expecting moms and dads get a free car seat for their child. This article provides links to specific non-profit agencies and government organizations in 36 states to help you secure one of these car seats. Depending upon the program, free booster seats might also be available.


General Criteria

What do you have to do to get the car seat from one of the 36 state sources listed below? It depends on who is sponsoring the give-away. Here are some common requirements.

  • Government Agencies: Generally require the household to be enrolled in SNAP food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or TANF, and enroll in a short car seat safety course.
  • Healthcare Plan Agencies: Usually require the child gets all immunizations and well baby checks, or that the expecting mother go to a certain number of pre-natal visits. Often this giveaway program is bundled with a points program that some managed Medicaid plans offer.
  • Non-profit Agencies: This type of sponsor also usually requires the household be enrolled in a public assistance program. However, some agencies simply have straight low income guideline requirements. The parent might also need to attend a safety seat course.

In a few cases noted in the state list below, car seats are offered for a deeply reduced fee, usually $10 to $30. You will also need to live in the serving area of the sponsored program.

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Alabama

USA Children's and Women's Hospital

http://www.usahealthsystem.com/car-seats-for-kids


Arizona

Phoenix Day Child & Family Agency

https://www.phoenixday.org/


California

Pacific Safety Center "Keep 'Em Safe Program"

Provides a free car seat to program enrollees with a household income below 200% of poverty

http://carseat.psc411.com/announcements/faq/


District of Columbia

Providence Hospital

Reduced price of $20 for a car seat

http://www.provhosp.org/services/womens-services/support-services


Delaware

Delaware Opportunities Inc. Car Seat Safety Program

Automatic eligibility with proof of WIC, SNAP, or Medicaid

http://delawareopportunities.org/content/carseat-safety-program


Florida

Florida Farm Bureau

Reduced price COSCO car seat for $25 (1/3 the retail cost)

http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/discounts/childsource-child-safety-seat/


Georgia

Department of Public Health North Central Health District

For enrolled members of WIC, Medicaid or TANF

http://northcentralhealthdistrict.org/car-seat-safety/


Idaho

Canyon County Paramedics Organization

http://idahowednesdayschild.org/blog/local-car-seat-programs


Indiana

Project LOVE:

Vouchers for a new child safety seat may be provided if deemed necessary, to parents/caregivers who participate in any public assistance program and are residents of Indiana.

http://www.preventinjury.org/Child-Passenger-Safety/Law-Enforcement-Vouchers


Iowa

Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa Stork's Nest and Family Nest Program

Provides participants the opportunity to earn points for healthy behaviors, which can be redeemed for items such as a car seat.

https://www.vnsia.org/mothers-children-families/diapers-clothing-car-seats/default.aspx


Kentucky

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid

Free car seat for prental enrollees who see their PCP or OB/GYN at least seven times when pregnant

https://mss.anthem.com/Documents/KYKY_CAID_MemberHandbookENG.pdf


Maine

Department of Public Safety Bureau of Highway Safety

http://www.maine.gov/dps/bhs/child-passenger-safety/general/distribution-locations.html


Maryland

Providence Hospital

Reduced price of $30 for a car seat

http://www.provhosp.org/services/womens-services/support-services


Massachusetts

For members of the Fallon Community Health Plan who enroll the the Oh Baby! Program

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/insurance/enroll-in-a-health-plan/extra-benefits-offered-by-masshealth-standard-family-a.html


Minnesota

Office of Traffic Safety

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/child-passenger-safety/Pages/car-seat-distribution-facilities.aspx


Mississippi

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

Has a reduced price car seat for $25 for farm bureau members.

https://msfb.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2016-Southern-Farm-Bureau-Order-Form.pdf


Montana

City of Great Falls Montana Health Department

At times offers free car seats

https://greatfallsmt.net/fire/car-seat-safety


Nevada

Renown Children's Hospital

Offers eligibility to receive a car seat for $10 if income guidelines are met

http://www.remsa-cf.com/community.html


New Hampshire

Well Sense Health Plan

Members with children weighing between 5 and 65 lbs. can receive a free car seat or booster seat. Women having twins can receive two seats.

https://www.wellsense.org/members/whats-extra/free-car-seats


New Mexico

Lovelace Health Plan

Parents can receive a free car seat after a child receives all required immunizations and well child visits up to 6 months of age.

https://www.pdffiller.com/en/project/128686788.htm?f_hash=e6edff&reload=true


New York

Ardent Solutions

A car seat is offered free to low income parents and legal guardians of children from birth until the child is ready to ride safely without a seat.

http://www.ardentnetwork.org/car-seat-distribution-program.html


North Carolina

Welcome Baby Program

Car seats offered as low as $10, based on a sliding income scale

http://www.welcomebaby.org/car_seat_program.html


North Dakota

City of Bismarck

A limited number of car seats might be available to families with low incomes.

http://www.bismarcknd.gov/351/Child-Passenger-Safety


Ohio

The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) Program

https://www.odh.ohio.gov/health/vipp/cps/cps.aspx


Oklahoma

Infant Crisis Services, Inc.

Children or parents on government assistance can get a car seat for $10

http://www.infantcrisis.org/services


Oregon

Kohl's Car Seat Clinic

http://www.kohlscarseatclinic.org/


Pennsylvania

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Must have a referral from a healthcare provider, a green EBT Access card, and photo identification.

http://www.chop.edu/health-resources/child-safety-seat-program-chop


South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Social Services

https://dss.sd.gov/childcare/childsafetyseat/contactus.aspx


Tennessee

Shelby County Health Department

Car seats offered for $10 for parents on certain government assistance programs

http://www.shelbytnhealth.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/251


Texas

Texas Department of State Health Services

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/saferiders/distribution.shtm


Utah

Salt Lake County Health Department

Offers booster seats as low as $13 and car seats as low as $30, based on income

http://slco.org/health/injury-prevention/car-seats/


Virginia

Virginia Department of Health Low Income Safety Seat Program

Free safety seats and booster seats for income eligible children. parents, foster parents and legal guardians.

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/child-passenger-safety/low-income-safety-seat-program/


Washington

Coordinated Care Health Plan Start Smart Program

https://ambetter.coordinatedcarehealth.com/benefits-services/start-smart.html


West Virginia

Gabriel Project

http://gabrielwv.org/what-we-do


Wisconsin

Kenosha County Car Seat Program

Lower cost car seats and boosters available on a sliding fee scale.

http://www.kenoshacounty.org/301/Car-Seat-Program


Wyoming

Kohl’s Car Seat Distribution Program

http://www.cheyenneregional.org/service/injury-prevention/kohls-car-seat-distribution-program/


If your state is not listed above and you require a car seat, check the following sources ...

  • Contact the social worker of the hospital you plan to give birth at. They might be able to help you secure a car seat or refer you to the maternity division for further help.
  • Call the toll-free information line on the back of your health plan ID card. Sometimes the health plan might have this unadvertised benefit.
  • Check your healthcare plan's full member manual and try a search for this benefit.
  • Contact your state traffic or highway safety organization.
  • Call your city's health department to find out if they have any current programs for free or reduced price car seats.

The safety of children is of the utmost importance. Thankfully there are programs that help low-income parents make this a little easier!

© 2017 Stove And Home

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