By Kids In Danger

Happy 2017! The beginning of a new year inspires many of us to take stock of our lives and belongings and get kid-january-picorganized. Maybe you’ll be trying to make some space by sorting through things you no longer need. Or, maybe you’ve realized there are still a few things you need to pick up, or you want to take advantage of post-holiday discounts. Either way, secondhand, consignment, and thrift shops provide great opportunities for families to save money and also reduce waste by recycling unwanted or outgrown items. Recently, the sharing economy has increased these options – services such as goBaby.com offer a peer-to-peer marketplace for baby gear rentals at low costs.

Unfortunately, buying, selling, donating, or sharing children’s products secondhand raises safety concerns. Recalled products might find their way onto shelves or online markets. Wear and tear from previous use might also increase the hazard posed by used products. Some older items might not conform to current safety standards, such as those for cribs, car seats, and play yards. Here, we have everything you need to know in order to donate, buy, sell, or share secondhand children’s products without sacrificing safety.

If you are thinking about donating, selling, or sharing any children’s or baby products or shopping for used children’s products… consider the following guidelines:

  • Before donating or selling, check all products using CPSC.gov for previous recalls. You can also check SaferProducts.gov for safety reports from other consumers – even for products that haven’t been recalled.
  • Check for product recalls as you shop by using the kidsindanger.org mobile site
  • Car seats and bike helmets no longer provide protection once they’ve been involved in a crash. Car seats also expire and standards are much stronger today than in the past. It’s best to toss these products, and don’t buy them used.
  • There are also certain categories of products that are no longer considered to be safe for any children. These include walkers, bath seats, crib bumper pads, and sleep positioners. Avoid these products new or used.
  • Include all manufacturer information, instructions, and product registrations cards with donated products. If durable products are missing their product registration cards, check the manufacturer’s website for information about product registration. This is the only way that manufacturers are obligated to inform you in the event of a recall. Click here for a list of product registration pages.
  • Don’t sell, donate, or buy any items that are broken or missing pieces. If you’re donating or shopping for items with drawstrings, pull them out. Drawstrings pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Before donating or purchasing, check that children’s toys or durable products such a cribs, play yards, or bassinets, meet current safety standards.
  • Keep an eye out for other shoppers — If you notice any of these hazards as you’re shopping, don’t hesitate to mention them to store employees.