Safety First!

Many parents turn to second-hand baby stores, thrift shops, garage sales and friends to buy, borrow or keep used baby gear. Baby gear can be expensive and adds up quickly so it can be a wise financial decision to go second-hand -- especially for items that baby might outgrow quickly or for a specific item needed for a short period of time.

usa gov recall appCheck recalls on your mobile device

How do you know if that too good to pass up price on the stroller at the resale store is safe and not recalled? USA.gov has an app for that. The free app for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android allows parents to check recalled items while on the go. So next time you're in the market to buy used baby items, check its safety before you spend your money and use it for your baby!

Always inspect used baby items

Even if the used item has not been recalled and comes from a trusted place, check to make sure all pieces and child restraints are intact, safe from choking hazards and in perfect working order. Here's a list of some baby items that you should always inspect before using with your baby.

  • Baby toys
  • Baby carriers
  • Pack N Play or play yards
  • Play gyms
  • Clothing (especially clothes with buttons)
  • High chairs
  • Baby bouncers and loungers
  • Strollers

Baby items that should never be bought used

There are a handful of baby items that should always be purchased new – not second-hand. These items can be expensive but manufacturers, health officials and most doctors agree that there should be no compromise when it comes to these baby items.

Car seats: Infant car seats, toddler car seats and booster seats should all be purchased new and either directly from an authorized retail store or from the manufacturer.

All car seats have an expiration date and some of these dates are not printed directly on the car seat -- not to mention that car seat expiration dates differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The other concern with used car seats is the safety and performance of a car seat that has been involved in a collision or fender bender. When buying a used car seat, you never really know if it has been compromised.

Breast pump: Used breast pumps could pose a health risk to both mother and baby.

Crib and crib mattress: Re-selling a drop-side crib is now illegal. All cribs must have four fixed sides. Some people find it perfectly acceptable to purchase a used crib and used mattress, but some caution against it. If you do get a used crib, maybe from a trusted family member, check to make sure all pieces are included and in excellent condition.

Tip: Add these items to your baby registry or use any gift cards you may receive to buy these larger items new.

More about baby gear

Baby gear consignment/resale
How to save thousands on baby gear
Baby Bargain: 10 ways to save big bucks on baby gear

Tags: recalled baby gear


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