Safety for second-hand car seats

Dayton Children’s Soon-to-be-Mommy Blogger, Jessica Saunders

I love saving a little money here and there – especially as I face years of diapers, child’s clothing and college savings.

There is no question that not I’m alone in looking for ways to cut costs.

One way parents may save is to purchase used car seats. However, there are dangers that lurk in used car seats (and other used baby prodcuts). The last thing a parent wants to do is buy a car seat to keep a child safe in a car only to find out that the car seat itself wouldn’t protect the child properly.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend purchasing a second-hand seat, if you do decide to purchase one make sure to check these items to make sure that your child will be riding as safely as possible.

1. Ask whether or not the car seat was in a crash. If you are purchasing the car seat from a second-hand store or if the seat is being given to you by a family member or friend – ask and make sure that the seat was not in a crash.  If the seat was in a crash it’s best not to purchase or accept the seat because it’s safety has been compromised.
2. Check the expiration date. The manufacture date is printed on the label of each seat.  Car seats generally expire 6 years after their manufacture date unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer. Recently, manufacturers have been stamping the expiration date or year on the seat as well to avoid confusion. If labels are missing – don’t purchase.
3. Check the seat for recalls.  Occasionally, car seats are recalled by the manufacturer.  Sometimes the manufacturer can send you a part to fix the recall – in other cases the seat is not suitable for use. Seats that have been recalled are not safe to use unless noted by the manufacturer. Also, remember to register the seat with the manufacturer so that you can be notified of any future recalls.
4. Review the manual and check for missing parts. Make sure the seat you purchase has it’s original manual, or look online to find one.  It’s important to have the manual to assist you in installation and to know if there are any parts missing.

For more information about car seat safety visit our website.

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