Best Used Baby Gear Safety Tips: Dangers at Home Series

Risks of Used Baby Gear

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image of infant nursery with yellow chair and white crib with pink pillows

Remember back when you created your first baby registry? All the baby gear you realized you’d need or want. It’s completely overwhelming both financially and emotionally. That’s why most of us turn to secondhand children’s stores when we’re on the hunt for baby gear. Used gear is often in like new condition and a fraction of the cost because these items don’t get used for long! While the savings are incredible, there are some used baby gear safety concerns we need to keep in mind.

There’s a home safety cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

I get it. Why spend $300 for that new 4moms baby swing everyone is raving about when you can find an older model (with all the same functions) for $75 on Facebook Marketplace?! Finding awesome used baby gear for phenomenal prices is exhilarating. In fact, when I was pregnant with my second child, I knew there were things I wanted that we didn’t get with our first. I also knew that a lot of the stuff would be used for six months or less. I did NOT want to spend a ton of money- I was a seasoned mom veteran after all.

I was determined to find the items on my list for at least 70% less than retail. So I hunted (I mean really hunted) and in one instance, drove almost two hours away to get a fancy pack n’ play that we could never have afforded new.

So, I understand. We have to be practical and frugal when it comes to purchasing baby gear. When I was hunting used baby gear, there were always a few questions I asked the seller and an inspection checklist I used on each item to make sure it met my criteria for used baby gear safety.

Used Baby Gear Safety Seller Questions

How was the item stored?

If the seller is like me, they had a few years in between kids and had finally decided to stop growing their family. This means the gear could be anywhere from 2-5 years old (or older!). Most baby products contain plastic. If an item was stored in a garage, shed, or attic, the plastic is subjected to temperature extremes and will break/wear out faster. Where the item was stored will also tell you what it could have been exposed to. Mice? Bats? Other weird and gross insects? You never know; so you need to know where and how the item was stored before you decide to purchase.

How old is the item?

You need to know the exact manufacture year of the item so you can check for any recalls before you purchase. Often the seller may not realize that a product has been recalled, so it’s up to you as the buyer to do your due diligence. The website is a fantastic place to check to see if an item has been recalled quickly.

 While the savings are incredible, there are some used baby gear safety concerns we need to keep in mind. Learn used baby gear safety tips!

Used Baby Gear Safety Inspection

Buckles Do they work? Do the buckle straps have any fraying, holes, or other issues?

Any deficiencies in the buckles or buckle straps mean that the item may not be able to properly restrain your child, which could result in serious injury.

Does the item have any cracked or brittle plastic?

Cracked, missing, or brittle plastic is often a sign that the item was exposed to temperature extremes and likely is not safe for use any longer.

Is there any chipped paint?

Kids put everything in their mouth. So if there is any chipping paint (or even stickers) and it’s not an item I plan to refinish, like a dresser or nightstand, I’ll pass. The last thing I need is my child getting lead poisoning from eating the chipping paint off an old dresser.

Are there any holes or fraying on any fabric or mesh items?

This is especially important in pack n’ plays or bed side rails. If there are holes in the mesh, they can quickly get bigger. There have been many instances where infants and children have gotten strangled in holes like this. Fraying fabric, especially in baby seats, is a sign that the item could fail and injure your child. Think about the seat in a baby activity bouncer, if the fabric starts to fray, your child could fall out.

Never buy this used…

As much as I love saving money, there is one baby gear item you should never, ever buy used- car seats. Unless it’s from family or friends that you trust, avoid buying a used car seat.

  1. You don’t know if the seat has been in an accident
  2. You don’t know how the seat was stored. Plastic that’s exposed to temperature extremes becomes brittle and may not function like it’s supposed to in a car accident.
  3. You don’t know how the seat was cared for. Car seats need to be cleaned in a very specific way to ensure the fabrics work correctly in a crash or fire. Seat straps and fabrics washed incorrectly may not do their job in a crash.

There’s a home safety cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

Before starting my questions and inspection, I can’t tell you how many times I purchased something without doing a used baby gear safety inspection and later found something to be wrong with the item. It felt like I was tossing money down the drain, which is not the point of buying used! Learn from my mistakes. Start asking questions and doing safety inspections. Your child will be safe, and your wallet will thank you.

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