If you’re expecting, secondhand baby gear can save you a bundle. But it’s not always smart to skimp, explains Nychelle Fleming, spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many products from only a couple of years ago don’t meet current safety standards. Fleming recommends buying, not borrowing, the following items and checking www.cpsc.gov to ensure that any other gear you’re given has not been recalled.
Cribs: Drop-side cribs can no longer be sold, and a newer, safer generation of cribs is now on the market. Even if an older crib looks safe, it may not have been tested with the most recent safety standards or could have loose or missing hardware, creating gaps that could trap a child.
Baby walkers: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using baby walkers altogether, as they can actually delay walking. If you do choose to use one, stick to new models. Older walkers may not have features that can prevent the product from rolling down stairs, which is the biggest risk.
Car seats: A used car seat that isn’t up to safety standards or is missing parts may not protect your child in a crash, and there’s no way to be sure that the seat wasn’t involved in a previous accident — something that may have led to invisible damage.
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