As you know, this month is National Child Passenger Safety Month,
and I've shared some great products and tip[s with you,
about safety checks and new cart seats.
But what about older seats?
A friend, who is a Child Passenger Seat Technician (CPST), sent over the following info:
Makes you think TWICE doesn't it?
Here's what Nichole (I know HOW weird is that?) says:
As a car seat tech I don't recommend anyone use a seat that didn't come from a trusted friend or family member.
A few things to remember if you do buy or are given a used seat:
- Have the straps been properly cared for? Many people don't know, but you cannot wash the harness straps with anything other than a damp cloth! Specific directions will be in the owners manual, as to if anything else can be used on your straps. If they are really bad, you can purchase new straps from the car seat manufacture.
- Has the seat been in any sort of a crash? Even a simple fender bender might have put stress on the seat, or it's connectors, causing it to later malfunction!
- Has the seat been recalled? A quick internet search, checking with the NHTSA (just click on the car seat recall search), or asking a CPST will make sure the seat hasnt been recalled.
- Is the seat expired? Car seats expire! There is a label with the date of manufacturer (DOM) on each seat. Most seats expire after 6 years. Check the manual for the exact expiration time frame. The expiration date means your seat may not meat CURRENT safety guidelines, and might not be as safe as you think it it.
- Do you have all of the parts including the manual? Manuals can be found online and replacement parts can be purchased from the manufacturer.
Is it really worth saving a few dollars and potentially put your child at risk?
There are many budget friendly seats available. Using a high priced used seat can be less safe than using a new lower budget seat.
There are also programs in many states (like Louisiana) to get a free or reduced price seat.