Welcoming a new baby brings many joys—and many expenses! That’s why parents happily accept hand-me-downs or turn to second-hand stores, consignment shops and online exchanges for used baby gear. But bargain hunters beware!
Consumer Reports has a warning before you use any second-hand baby items.
“While it’s illegal to sell recalled products, including on the second-hand market, people might not be aware of the law, or may not realize the product they’re selling has been recalled,” explained Emily Thomas with Consumer Reports.
Thomas adds it’s not uncommon to find recalled infant sleepers and other products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently sent a letter to Meta asking it to “strengthen… efforts to prevent the posting of banned and recalled consumer products for sale.”
Cribs with drop-down sides are another dangerous item to never buy. These have been linked to dozens of infant deaths and were banned in 2011. Even parents planning on using newer cribs still need to be careful.
“Sometimes a used crib may be passed on to you disassembled. You won’t know if there’s missing hardware unless you have the assembly instructions,” warned Angela Lashbrook with Consumer Reports.
Used car seats can also be problematic.
“Buying used car seats is not a good idea because there’s a lot you won’t reliably know about the seat. You won’t know about the seat’s crash history,” Thomas explained.
And if the labels and instructions or owner’s manual aren’t available, you may not be able to check the model number for open recalls or visibly check the seat’s expiration date. You may not even know if the seat is missing any parts -- which could all put your child in danger.
INTERACTIVE CHART: Determine If You Can Reuse Or Donate Your Car Seat
Whether it’s a car seat or another used item you purchase or receive as a hand-me-down, Consumer Reports suggests you check the product on Recalls.gov or CPSC.gov to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.