Are second-hand car seats safe?

With major consignment sale returning to Knoxville, experts caution against used car seats.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It will soon be illegal to make or sell baby rockers and crib bumpers, known to kill babies. However, a popular children’s consignment sale is back in Knoxville and already making sure those products are off the floor.

However, used car seats will still be for sale, but experts say buying one does come with risks.

This week is the 18th annual Duck-Duck-Goose consignment sale. It’ll be open to the public beginning Wednesday at the Knoxville Expo Center.

You’ll be able to find new and used clothes, toys, strollers and car seats, but experts said parents should be careful when buying second-hand car seats.

“You don’t really know the true nature and history of that car seat,” said Shenaiah Thomas, the Injury Prevention Coordinator at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Thomas said you should know a few things about a car seat before buying it second-hand, like the manufacturing date. She said most car seats are good for 6-7 years. You also want to avoid buying a car seat that has been in a crash.

“If you can’t get any type of history on that car seat, we do not advise for any families to buy car seats,” Thomas said.

Thomas added that you want to avoid buying a car seat that has been recalled.

You can find the full list of recalled car seats on the consumer product safety commission website.

Organizers with Duck-Duck-Goose said they don’t sell expired seats.

“We check every car seat to make sure it’s within the exact expiration date for the brand,” said Courtney Ibach, co-owner of Duck-Duck-Goose.

However, Ibach said recalls are a different story. They’re not aware of every recalled seat. The sale has a sign up, saying “Duck-Duck-Goose is not responsible for recalled items. Shop at your own risk.”

“We actually encourage people. If they’re concerned about it to go to that site and figure it out for themselves, and don’t purchase anything they don’t feel comfortable with,” said Ibach.

She said there are some products they stopped selling, like baby rockers, since those have been banned.