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Expired car seats on Freecycle

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
I am so frustrated! I have seen this happen three times now on my local freecycle. Every time I have emailed the poster and the moderator and let them know this is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT SAFE, and have never heard back from anyone. I get the feeling that they think I am some raving lunatic.

Any idea on how to get this to stop? I have seriously thought of just asking for the seats, but I am not always on the computer right when the ad pops up, so someone else might be ahead of me.

There should be some sort of legal stuff I could throw their way.
post #2 of 80
It may not be true, but I often tell people who try to sell or give away expired seats that they are unsafe and why. And then I tell them that they MAY be held liable if a child is injured.
post #3 of 80
My local Freecycle ignored me for over a year.... Until I finally explained that I'm a CPST who has appeared in our local newspaper + on our local radio station & I find it appalling that they have little to no regard for the life or death safety of the children in our community -- they did end up adding the Used Seat Checklist to their links section, but also told me that they will continue to allow expired/etc. carseats because people may want them for "creative purposes"

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/usedseat.aspx
post #4 of 80
I post a public reply if the seat is obviously expired about the dangers/links/etc... if I'm not positive I try to grab up the seat myself.

I've found seats at our Goodwill with a DOM of 92-94 before. It was an infant seat lined in blue vinyl, ugh! If I'd had a sharpie I would have written "EXPIRED-DANGEROUS-DEATH TRAP" on it in sharpie
post #5 of 80
Thread Starter 
The one last night had the following description:
"I have an OLD forward-facing carseat with 5-point harness. It has been
in my family since it was purchased new 15 years ago, so I know it has
never been in an accident and has not been recalled. I found it useful
as an extra for playdates, short trips in the spare car, etc. May not
be quite as comfy as the newer models, but it's perfectly adequate as a
spare. Maker is Evenflo."

My jaw almost hit the floor when I read it.

ETA: Now that I think about it, I may do a "reply all" anyway. I don't really care if I get reprimanded for sending out a mass post if it saves one or two people from posting expired seats. I think I will wait until this afternoon, as the seat was advertised late last night and I replied almost immediately and also reported the post at the same time. I would rather the "warning" come from the mod if possible.
post #6 of 80
If only my local Freecycle allowed replies on the public list . . . but, nope, all are automatically deleted regardless
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnymw View Post
If I'd had a sharpie I would have written "EXPIRED-DANGEROUS-DEATH TRAP" on it in sharpie
I was wishing I had a Sharpie on me the other day: my favorite local consignment shop just recently "branched out" & started selling used, expired carseats -- the worst issue being that the owner rolled her eyes at me when I gave her my business card & explained (very briefly) that the seats are unsafe according to our state's traffic safety website.

Luckilly my 6 year old was with me as usual. She piped in loud enough for all the customers to look at us: "Why doesn't this place care if the babies could die? THAT's WRONG!"

::nana:
post #7 of 80
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I just got this response:

"This topic has been addressed to the group on numerous occasions, so I did not send out another post about it in June when you requested it as I felt that it had been addressed recently enough. The last time it was addressed I did a search of the archived carseat posts. 99% of them included information about the age of the seat and whether or not it has been in an accident. I think that people are aware of the expiration date and accident information and that is why they include it in their posts.

If you would like to send a blurb to me to post to the group as a reminder on this topic then I will post it for you. Please keep it non-judgemental and offer suggestions for other options.

By the way, the statement about insurance not paying for a child's injuries is not correct. I am an insurance agent."


I thought that insurance companies wouldn't cover a child's injuries if he/she was in an improperly used seat (which using an expired seat would be improper use, right?).

Anyway, I am so frustrated with this freecycle group. Anyone want to help me write a good blurb that will get the point across without sounding too "judgemental"?
post #8 of 80
Insurance companies vary. My cousin is also an insurance agent.

As for a "nonjudgmental blurb" -- well, that's why I just requested they simply post the USED SEAT CHECKLIST in their links section & send it in their standard monthly/weekly announcements (all of which I doubt anyone truly pays attention to)
post #9 of 80
I email and also get no response. Once it was a crunchy homeschool mom from a large group I was part of. Not my friend but I kind of new of her. She didn't respond either.
post #10 of 80
I'm gonna be the voice of the minority here, but the moms who post the used carseasts are probably thinking,"better a used carseat than no carseat at all" and may not know that there are places you can get free carseats.


ARE there places to get used carseats? I don't know, we bought our first one, the health insurance company sent us the second one and we bought the third.????

I've gone 'round with someone here (don't remember who) about the fact that THEY would prefer NO CARSEAT AT ALL to a used/expired carseat.


Whatever. To each her own, but not for my family.
post #11 of 80
Is it really safer for a kid to be without a carseat then in an expired one?
post #12 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
Is it really safer for a kid to be without a carseat then in an expired one?
It is no safer to be in an expired seat than in no seat at all. The plastic breaks down over time, as does all plastic, and becomes brittle. In a crash, the force could, and has, caused the harness to break through the plastic, strangling the child, or ejecting them completely.

There are many options for parents who cannot afford a new seat. An expired seat is not their only option.

As for freecycle... all we can do is give parents the information and the rest is up to them. It is very unfortunate when parents choose to put their childrens life at risk, but there isn't a whole lot we can do about it.
post #13 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapmilkmom View Post
I'm gonna be the voice of the minority here, but the moms who post the used carseasts are probably thinking,"better a used carseat than no carseat at all" and may not know that there are places you can get free carseats.


ARE there places to get used carseats? I don't know, we bought our first one, the health insurance company sent us the second one and we bought the third.????

I've gone 'round with someone here (don't remember who) about the fact that THEY would prefer NO CARSEAT AT ALL to a used/expired carseat.


Whatever. To each her own, but not for my family.
In my small community, there are several options. We have a Safe Kids Coalition, the Health Department, and the OB department at the hospital.
post #14 of 80
TBH, an expired carseat can shatter under crash forces, causing sharp debris to fly around the cabin... yeah, I'd say it *is* more hazardous (in an accident) than no carseat at all.

On a day-to-day basis, carseats also serve a function of keeping kids comfortable and seated in the car, which can have some safety benefits. So... I'm not sure which is safer in total; if an accident is significantly less likely with kids restrained in expired seats, that might offset the increased risk the seat itself poses.

OTOH, it feels a little like asking "Which would you rather your child have access to: drain cleaner or bleach?" :-/
post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
Is it really safer for a kid to be without a carseat then in an expired one?
If my choice was an expired carseat or none, I would take the expired one. However, I can't imagine that ever being the only two options. There are state programs that provide free carseats, hospitals that provide free carseats, etc. Giving out expired carseats is not safe, and it may cause someone to compromise their child's safety instead of taking the time to get one that is safe.
post #16 of 80
if you have enough $ to be sitting around posting on the internet, you have enough $ to get the cheapest car seat, which has to be safer than an expired car seat. IMHO
post #17 of 80
I find it difficult to believe that an expired carseat is worse than no carseat. In fact, that's just silly. They don't self-destruct the day they expire, and only *might* break under pressure, but they might hold up. But with no carseat the baby is basically bouncing around the car in an accident. So it's like Russian Roulette vs. just shooting. Though they are both stupid and unsafe, Russian Roulette is safer than just shooting someone.

The Freecycle group should post an explanation as to why expired seats aren't safe, and maybe give some links as to places where parents in need can get free safe seats. And they should put the info in an FAQ if one goes out each month too.

I wouldn't trust a seat from Freecycle regardless of how new it was because how do you KNOW it hasn't been in an accident? I mean, maybe whoever had the seat doesn't consider a fender-bender to be an accident. Or maybe they haven't been using it for a while and it's been sitting in the garage under a pile of heavy things, and the weight has stressed it? I really wish Freecycle would just not allow carseat posts at all. I hate when I see them in garage sales too.
post #18 of 80
soemone gave me an expired bucket seat-i use it for visits for my foster baby. she is in a britax in the car, but i carry her in in the bucket and it gives bios a place to put her in besides the discustingly dirty couches in the cps office. .creative use i guess!
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyJoia View Post
if you have enough $ to be sitting around posting on the internet, you have enough $ to get the cheapest car seat, which has to be safer than an expired car seat. IMHO
You can get internet access for less than $10 a month, or have internet access as part of your job, and STILL not have $50 in cash to go purchase a new carseat. Also, sometimes people use Freecycle to get items for friends without internet access. Comments like this are judgemental and not at all helpful.

Back on topic:

Expired "infant buckets' can safely be used as infant seats in the house, as an alternative to a "bouncy seat". Degraded plastic that might shatter during a vehicle collision should hold up just fine on the kitchen floor.
post #20 of 80
there are sooo many cheap car seats available...plus free programs. some ppl just do NOT care. im dealing w/ this issue right now..wanting to GIVE someone a $200 car seat instead of them using the 15 plus year old car seat they have for their 1.5 yo. It just boggles the mind.
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