Bargain-hunting parents often peruse resale and consignment shops, garage sales, and online exchanges for good deals on baby gear.  While these sources are great for gently used clothing, shoes, and toys, you may want to think twice before trusting your baby to second-hand baby gear like hand-me-down car seats, infant sleepers, and cribs.

Car seats are one of the top ways to keep your child safe while on the road.  They are engineered to distribute the force of impact evenly and divert it away from vulnerable areas of a child’s body.  Car seats and boosters can save and protect your little one’s life, but when they malfunction, the results can be tragic.

Unfortunately, recalls are frequently issued for safety violations with car seats.  If you purchase one of these life-saving devices from a second-hand source, you won’t know the seat’s crash history or if it’s on the recall list for a deadly defect.  This can put your child in danger every time you strap them in.

Recalls for cribs and infant sleepers are common as well.   In 2011, many cribs with collapsing walls were banned outright after several infant deaths. Before accepting a second-hand crib or sleeper from a well-meaning relative or friend, check to ensure it is safe for your little one.

Be cautious when buying used baby gear. If you’re unsure about the item, check for recall alerts.  You can do this by finding the model and date of manufacture on the questionable product’s label or sticker and then check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for recalls and safety notices. Go to their recall search page at and enter the car seat’s model number.

For other baby products, such as cribs and sleepers, get the product information off the label or sticker and go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  at and look for the “Recalls” section.

If a crib, sleeper, or car seat has ever been damaged or is missing parts, the defect may not be obvious at first glance.  Also, if you are buying used baby gear, you may not get notifications about recalls. It’s essential to check the manufacturer’s label against the current recall list and check for certification stickers.

Finding a bargain deal at a resale shop is nice, but not when your child’s safety is on the line.

Lastly, if you or someone you love is injured or killed due to a defective product, please get in touch with my office.  With over forty years of experience handling personal injury claims, we are here to help in every way we can.  Call 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow


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