Are used car seats safe?
Car seats are expensive. That’s why you’re thinking of accepting one from a friend who doesn’t need hers anymore. But should you put your children in a used car seat? Safety experts say you’ll want to ask some important questions before you do:
When was it manufactured? Look on the label for the date it was made. If the seat was made more than six years ago, think twice about using it with your children. It may not meet today’s safety standards.
Has it been recalled? Check with the car seat manufacturer to see if the seat has been subject to any recalls. Some of the most popular brands of car seats have been recalled over the past year. To find out if your child safety seat has been recalled, you can call the Auto Safety Hotline ( 888-DASH-2-DOT ).
Does it have the instructions? You need the instructions to know how to install the car seat. One of the biggest issues with car seats is that they are improperly installed by parents.
Has it been in any type of accident? Don’t use any car seat that’s been in an accident, even a minor one. You also may want to pass on any seats that are showing signs of wear.