Mum issues important warning about the dangers of buying second-hand car seats

A woman has issued an important reminder about car seat safety after buying a second-hand car seat that looked fine, but was actually ‘completely unusable’.

The unnamed mother, writing on Reddit under the username notsweetenough1, explained: ‘Before baby arrived I bought 3 used carseats (one for mom, dad, caregiver.) I was really careful to ensure they weren’t expired and asked if they’d been in a car accident and gave them (what I thought) was a thorough visual inspection. My husband has been using the most expensive one we bought since it was black and “cooler” looking.’

‘Yesterday hubs text me asking if I knew the Styrofoam was cracked in his carseat. I figured it was probably a chip or something since he’s a little over-cautious. I just pulled it out of his car this morning and OH MY GOD the Styrofoam is COMPLETELY cracked down the entire length of the seat. With the cover on it looks FINE but it’s completely unusable!’

She added that she was ‘so thankful’ that the seat had never been put to the test, and that they discovered the damage before an accident occurred.

‘It’s going straight in the trash with straps cut,’ she confirmed.

‘I honestly don’t know if the lady who sold it to me knew that had happened or if it had been in a wreck or just defective or what. But if you’re going to buy a used carseat make sure you pull up that cover and check the foam!’

Other posters, however, were quick to question whether you should ever buy a second-hand car seat at all, with one saying: ‘Just don’t buy a used car seat. The safety regulations change so often and you don’t know what you’re getting, they can say the seat was never in a collision but it may very well be untrue. If there is anything you want to spend money on it’s the car seat and the crib mattress.’

‘Car seats are the one place we “splurge” on. I tend to get most baby stuff second hand but I can’t trust other people’s word when it comes to car seats,’ another agreed.

Consumer experts Which? say on their website that although it is possible to buy many second-hand baby items safely, they wouldn’t recommend purchasing a car seat that had already been used.

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‘Buying second-hand can save you lots of money, but some items are simply not a bargain if they put your child’s safety at risk,’ they explain.

‘This is why we strongly suggest you don’t buy a child car seat second-hand – your child’s safety is paramount. A second-hand car seat may have been in a crash, even if you can’t see any signs of it, and this will have weakened it.’