Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 15, 2013

Used child car seats: Not thrifty, not safe

ASHLAND — If you’re a thrifty parent, grandparent or parent to be, you’ve undoubtedly thought about buying a used car seat for the little one. It could save a few bucks and, in this economy, why not?

As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons not to. KDMC’s certified child safety seat technicians nearly had a fit when we floated the idea past them. Here’s what they said:

How can you know for sure the car seat has never been in a wreck? Car seats are designed to protect children during an accident, but they are not indestructible. A child safety seat can suffer serious damage during an impact. One that’s been through a crash will not protect as well as it should.

‰How can you be sure you have all of the original parts and pieces, including the manual? If something is missing, the seat won’t work right, putting your child at risk.

‰Can you verify there’s never been a recall on the seat and, if there has been, how can you be sure the recall repair was actually made?

‰Do you know the seat has NEVER been dropped? Believe it or not, dropping a seat can permanently damage it.

‰How old is the seat? You should never trust your child’s safety to a seat that’s more than five years old.

‰Have the straps ever been completely submerged or washed with anything other than mild soap? OK, we know that sounds silly, but the flame retardant in the straps can be washed away by soaking or using the wrong chemicals for cleaning.

KDMC child safety seat technicians urge the use of new child safety seats only. It’s the only way you can be sure the seat will perform the way it should. Technicians are available to answer any questions, help with installation and, if you cannot afford a child safety seat, direct you to community resources that may be able to help. Best of all, their services are free. Call them at (606) 408-9301 for more information.

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