It is always tempting to buy baby items you need from garage sales, but because of baby safety issues, it can be a dangerous – not to mention life threatening – decision. But while many things, such as baby clothing or blankets, can be a bargain basement option for moms-to-be on a budget, there are some items that are far too risky to buy from a garage sale.
- Cribs. There have been many recalls on cribs made in recent years, which can be hard to find out about if the crib no longer has manufacturing details on it. And most cribs made prior to September 1986 do not meet today’s stringent baby safety guidelines.
- Baby gates. The old style accordian baby gates (prior 1990) are commonly found at garage sales, but they can trap a child’s neck.
- Car seats. One small fender bender can mean that a car seat is no longer safe for a child, even if it meets all other safety guidelines, and it is impossible to tell by looking if a car seat has been in an accident.
- Playpens & play yards. Sweeping changes were made to prevent children’s deaths when they would accidently collapse with a child inside. Unless it is fairly new – and not subject to any other subsequent recalls – avoid.
If money is truly an issue, look to purchase these kind of items from a trusted friend instead. Or even consider a small loan to cover expenses. But your baby’s safety is worth far more than the money you would save by purchasing the above from a garage sale.
And always be sure to check that there are no recalls on any second hand item your buy or are given, even if the person says it is fine. You can check yourself here.