Why should I be concerned with using a second-hand safety seat?

There are several issues surrounding used child safety seats, so in general they are not recommended. Here are a few of the concerns:

  • The full history of a second-hand safety seat may be unknown. It may have been damaged in a previous crash, weakened by inappropriate use and storage, or otherwise compromised.
  • All of the original parts, instructions and labels may not be present and in good condition. Parts substituted from other models are inappropriate, as are other user modifications, and can compromise the safety of the seat.
  • The safety seat may be recalled. Missing or damaged labels may make that difficult to assess, and determining whether a recalled part has been repaired or replaced can also be difficult.
  • The safety seat may be too old. Most manufacturers agree that a safety seat that is more than six years old should not be used. This is primarily due to the facts that performance standards frequently change and incorporating new technologies protect children better. In addition, replacement parts and instructions may no longer be available for older safety seats, and manufacturers may no longer be in business.

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