Second-hand child safety seats: what you should know

A second-hand child safety seat can put your child at risk if you do not know the history of the seat.  Used child safety seats purchased at garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops do not come with guarantees of their condition or crash history.  Click here to learn more about child safety seats involved in a crash.  If you do not know the history of a child seat, you should not use it.
 If you know the history of a second-hand child safety seat, make sure it meets the following guidelines before you use it:

  •  The child safety seat is not on recall or if recalled, all repairs have been made

  • The child safety seat has a label that states the seat conforms to federal motor vehicle standards

  • The child safety seat is not older than 5-6 years (check the label on the seat that has the date of manufacture)

  • The manufacturer of the child safety seat is still in business

  • The instruction booklet for the child safety seat is available (many are available online)

  • The child safety seat is free of any damage such as hairline marks in the plastic, cracks, and loose rivets

  • The child safety seat has all its parts and all parts are in good condition

  • The child safety seat has not been involved in a motor vehicle crash