is it okay to use my 12yo's old car seat for new baby? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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made you click! the title is a joke but i do have a good question!

i am tired of seeing expired and unsafe car seats for sale at garage sales and good will, etc. every sale i went to this summer had at least 3 expired seats for sale, some of these are 10 years old! i tried to tell the owners and they would ignore me or say, there is no way it is that old my daughter just bought it a few years ago. and then continue to sell them for 1$-5$. i worry about low income families buying these and using them. so i thought a great way to take care of it is to make a pamphlet or brochure that tells why it is unsafe to use expired and used car seats. i could give these to the sale owners, seems like having proven literature would be helpful. and/or they could be attached to the seat inconspicuously for the buyer to find and read. i would love to get some in spanish too! anyone want to help with this project? i would love to have it ready for next springs garage sales. or perhaps there already is something like this out there that i could have printed and use?

any spanish speakers want to volunteer their translating services? any other mamas feel passionate enough to help me dig up dome statistics and facts to put on it?

out line of what should be included
-the dangers of used car seats
-the dangers of expired car seats
-what you should do with an expired seat
-website links for info
-phone number resources for free car seats

  

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#2 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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Considering a certain new law, it should be illegal to sell old car seats especially if the CPSC has recalled said models. You could try writing to the Salvation Army and Goodwill and see what they have to say.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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What the government ought to do is something like they do with cans and bottles in many states. Just add a $10 charge to car seats and then parents who turn them in when they are finished with them can get a refund. $10 isn't too much for a poor family to pay extra and it's enough that most anyone would be interested in getting it back. I'll bet we'd have ALL KINDS of people turning the old car seats in. They could probably even recycle them into something else.

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#4 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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http://www.carseat.org/Resources/0_SpanishIP.htm

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#5 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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The other problem is people buy them at consignment shops and then sell them to Mennonites. My mother was baby sitting a girl and bought a car seat to use in her car. She bought it at a consignment shop two or three years ago. She only stopped using it after I bought a booster bc the seat was obviously too small for the child using it. (She doesn't have a father and clung to DP so she came out with us a lot) I then got a chance to really look at it (after she commented about keeping it to use for DD) and the date on it was May 1999!!! I told her how it was not only unsafe due to the fact that it didn't even fit the child but that it was illegal. Of course she didn't believe me. I showed her the date and she, again, didn't believe me. ("That's not an expiration date. That's the date it was manufactured" TBH, I'm not sure which it is, but either way, no car seat lasts that long!) She kept insisting it was safe bc the lady at the consignment shop assured her it had never been in an accident. Now that lady is really nice and I would trust her. But I wouldn't trust whoever brought it in, looking to make a buck.

I should have cut the straps but I didn't. She said she would throw it away but instead, went behind my back, and sold it at a yard sale for $15 to a Mennonite family. I guess their babies just aren't that important. Oh yeah, she also proceeded to buy another car seat from another neighbor whose child "grew too fast" and outgrew his car seat. She bought it with the intent to use it with my child. Now this seat only rear faces to 22lbs (which my daughter has now surpassed .. barely) and only forward faces to 40lbs. It's apparently only three years old and - you guessed it - has never been in an accident.

So I guess the other problem is that people are just in denial and don't care. I guess I'm part of what you would consider "poor" but that doesn't mean my child's safety needs to suffer. I gladly saved and bought a car seat that rear faces to 35lbs and forward faces to 65lbs. (I think only one 40lbs was available and it was twice as much .. that I couldn't afford) I would gladly partake in paying an extra $10 if it meant I got it back in the end and prevented used/old car seats from being bought/sold. (I thought that was illegal?)

Or, here's another idea. Why not donate them to police departments? They can use them for shows and demonstrate how to properly secure a child in them. Or donate them to car dealerships so parents (or perspective parents) can see if which cars can comfortably fit how many car seats? That obviously wouldn't work for all the car seats (waaay too many) but it would be an interesting idea.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#6 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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The $10 deposit idea is probably best, but until then, take pruning shears to the garage sale and don't draw attention to the time you spend "examining" the car seat.
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#7 of 21 Old 10-21-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
The $10 deposit idea is probably best, but until then, take pruning shears to the garage sale and don't draw attention to the time you spend "examining" the car seat.

Are you actually suggesting that people go to garage sales and damage these carseats? I understand the carseats aren't safe but you (or anyone) do not have the right to destroy someone else's property!

On the issue of old carseats - what if a family is so poor they cannot afford a carseat? Wouldn't an old carseat be safer than nothing? I sure think it is because at least the child is restrained instead of being in someone's arms. If you think that destroying all the carseats that are expired is going to make people go out and buy them instead then you are very naive. Most likely they will just ride around with their child unrestrained. I understand the issue of carseat safety but you need to look at the bigger picture.

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#8 of 21 Old 10-22-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Most likely they will just ride around with their child unrestrained. I understand the issue of carseat safety but you need to look at the bigger picture.
Yes, but then people like me will see that and call the cops on them.

I don't know that I can really believe someone is poor enough to not be able to buy a car seat. Hospitals give away free infant car seats. They have their entire pregnancy and the whole time that child is in the infant seat to save up for a good safe car seat. That's what I did. And we have next to nothing. Literally. I bought the "first years true fit" for under $200. If anything, they can use the infant car seat for a year and then buy the $40 car seats that forward face at year.


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Are you actually suggesting that people go to garage sales and damage these carseats? I understand the carseats aren't safe but you (or anyone) do not have the right to destroy someone else's property!
I think she may be talking about people we actually know, which is what I should have done with that damn car seat my mother sold.

Although, honestly, selling that car seat is illegal, and they should be warned about it, albeit by the police. And eventually, when people decide not to listen, they need to get fined and forced to go some sort of car seat safety class so they can see exactly what they doing just to make a few dollars. I know that seems harsh, but plenty of states issues fines and force people to go to driver safety courses for something as minimal as running a red light, or rather, stopping just over the line so the camera takes your picture.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#9 of 21 Old 10-22-2009, 08:31 AM
 
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I do not support damaging other people's property, even if you do not like that property.

But people who cannot afford seats can get free seats from SafeKids or possibly health departments. They may not be cute seats with cushy covers, or nice carriers with bases, but they will be safe and new and free.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#10 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

On the issue of old carseats - what if a family is so poor they cannot afford a carseat? Wouldn't an old carseat be safer than nothing? I sure think it is because at least the child is restrained instead of being in someone's arms. If you think that destroying all the carseats that are expired is going to make people go out and buy them instead then you are very naive. Most likely they will just ride around with their child unrestrained. I understand the issue of carseat safety but you need to look at the bigger picture.
I agree here. Wouldn't it be better for someone to have any carseat versus no carseat?! And if they are truly that poor then I don't see them "saving up the entire pregnancy to get a good one" as soemone else mentioned. They may not even be educated enough on carseat safety to know they should save up for a good one. While it's great that you knew to do that they may not. And yes many hospitals do give free carseats and there are shelters and places that give them too, but again not everyone knows these services exist. And while I don't think it's a good idea to resell expired seats (I would never) but I would rather evryone have a seat for every child, even if it is expired.

Denyel & Kate Bond - Black Belt Mamas to Dekaylee born 10/29/09 - And parents to our 4-legged family including 1 Dog "Hank", 2 cats "Boris & Ahmi", and 5 Beautiful Alpacas!!
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#11 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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On the issue of old carseats - what if a family is so poor they cannot afford a carseat? Wouldn't an old carseat be safer than nothing?
i know a lot of areas have free or reduced cost NEW car seats available to low income families, just for this reason. I guess we're "poor" but we do find a way to save for a good quality car seat and everything else essential to safety.

Katie, Enjoying my time with my love Josh:, kiddos Kendel '01 and Xander '03 and our furry beast Sherman '08:
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#12 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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i know a lot of areas have free or reduced cost NEW car seats available to low income families, just for this reason. I guess we're "poor" but we do find a way to save for a good quality car seat and everything else essential to safety.
I live in a suburb of a large metro area, and the resources for free/reduced price car seats are pretty hard to find. Not impossible, but difficult.
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#13 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
Although, honestly, selling that car seat is illegal, and they should be warned about it, albeit by the police.
If it's illegal, could you call the police and say, "They're having a garage sale at such-and-such an address and trying to sell an expired car seat"?

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#14 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Unless there are state-specific laws, selling an expired carseat is NOT illegal, although using one may be.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#15 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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We donate a lot of stuff to a HUGE church thrift store by us, and they usually only have a couple carseats at a time, but they were always expired - I would bring them up font and explain why they werent safe, the lady working went and got the person who is 'in charge' and had me explain it to her.
I went and printed out the used carseat checklist and gave it to her and now they use it with every carseat that comes in.

Ever sense then I still check their carseats when I go there, and I have only seen newer ones in good condition sense I talked to them.

They seemed very willing to listen to me and Im so glad they set up a 'no old seats' rule - they still accept donations of old seats, but they cut up and toss anything thats expired/nasty. (which is good so people dont just turn around and donate them somewhere else!)
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#16 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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A few things:

1. It isn't 'illegal' to sell an expired seat. Extremely foolish and in the cases where it's done deliberately, viciously selfish, yes, but not illegal.

2. The old "better than nothing!" argument holds zero merit. There are plenty of organizations who will provide a free, safe, new seat to those who need one.

3. Eek, I hope no one is actually suggesting destroying someone's private property. Committing a crime doesn't exactly lend credibility to your claims, kwim?


If there is any area where there seems to be an unusual level of this problem (i.e. people using expired/recalled/crashed seats), contact your local SafeKids or car seat consortium to see if they would consider holding a community seat check and information event in your area :-)

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#17 of 21 Old 10-23-2009, 11:48 PM
 
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It is illegal - at least in some areas - to sell used car seats. There was just something in the news about it, and I think I actually heard about it in the TAO forum. More and more people are turning to garage sales to buy used baby products, such as car seats and cribs and and bouncers and all that stuff. Sure, many people don't realize that what they are selling is out of date, but others just don't care.

And yes, it is illegal to use the car seat. If you get pulled over and the cop decides to check the car seat - which apparently a lot of them do, especially if it just looks old - you can be cited for it and possibly charged with endangerment. If he really wants to be a UAV, he can call child services and have them take the child away right then and there.

Using the "ignorant" excuse just doesn't work. The poorest of the poor go to hospitals where they are given information on car seat safety. Many hospitals even require the parents - or at least mom - to watch videos on shaking babies and car seats before they are even allowed to leave the hospital with their babies. Furthermore, these are the exact people who get on WIC and/or food stamps. WIC offices not only hand out information on car seat safety - among other things - but they also discuss it, albeit their main purpose to discuss proper diet and nutrition.

Another thing that just came to mind. Some states have a program where they actually give people cash. It's designed to help pay for rent and cab rides to and from the public welfare offices or something like that. It's to help pay the bills. Those same offices can give money to buy a car seat.

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#18 of 21 Old 10-26-2009, 07:19 AM
 
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Im gonna get flamed but a lot of the consignment "boutiques" around here really know the families they buy from..

I bought my second daughters extra Britax companion at a consignment shop - before I bought it - the woman pulled the card of the owner and verified a few things. I still paid 100.00 for it. It made sense to me - it was for our sitters car and worked with our other one (we deal with four cars and we need extra seats)

I dont think every used seat is a bad one - yes usually there are risks but a universal no no seems harsh. It reminds me of the lead testing in toys and the struggle for WAHM's.

I love the deposit idea

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#19 of 21 Old 10-26-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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Im gonna get flamed but a lot of the consignment "boutiques" around here really know the families they buy from..

I bought my second daughters extra Britax companion at a consignment shop - before I bought it - the woman pulled the card of the owner and verified a few things. I still paid 100.00 for it. It made sense to me - it was for our sitters car and worked with our other one (we deal with four cars and we need extra seats)

I dont think every used seat is a bad one - yes usually there are risks but a universal no no seems harsh. It reminds me of the lead testing in toys and the struggle for WAHM's.

I love the deposit idea
There is absolutely no way you can verify if that Companion was safe or not. You didn't know the person it came from. The person very easily could have lied through her teeth.

Essentially, you spent 100 dollars for a name when you could have bought a very nice brand new infant carrier for the same price, or two brand new convertibles for the same price.

Being Britax does not make it any more safe used.

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#20 of 21 Old 10-27-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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They didn't have expiration dates on car seats in '99 so that must have been the manufacturer date. Although that still makes it 10 years old.

When I lived in Cali the consignment shop told me they could not/would not sell used car seats because they were responsible if anything was wrong with it. This was back in 2004.

I am not sure if I believe the expiration date on car seats is a safety thing or a lets sell more car seats thing.. but regardless... I wouldn't try to sell one. When I think of all the changes that have happened just between my 6 year old and my 3 year old I would NEVER use my 16 year olds or even 11 year olds car seats now.
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#21 of 21 Old 11-13-2011, 10:55 PM
 
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I think  the main objective is to keep our children safe. Car seats are expensive. I fully understand the economy situation, but there is a reason for ever changing models of car seats. My husband's granddaughter, (we weren't married yet), was killed in an auto accident, because of her car seat. She was 4. The buckle tore her abdominal aorta, causing her to bleed internally, to death.

Car seats are no longer made with the type of buckle system that seat had.

I suggest that a car seat be confiscated by an officer on the scene of any accident, in which the child was in the seat. If they were not in the seat, it should be removed and examined for cracks with a black light system.

There are other ways to save on child expenses. Buy clothes at the yard sales. A child isn't worth the risk. If a person doesn't have the money, maybe a Church could help with that.

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