Is a Used Car Seat Really a Good Idea?
With the presence of warm weather, garage sale signs are
popping up on every corner. Although garage sales and online classified sites
can be a good place to find great deals, purchasing a used car seat could mean
compromising safety. Car seats must never be used once they’ve been in an
accident and, by purchasing used, you can’t be sure of the seat’s crash
history. You can’t always tell that the seat has been damaged or abused - it
could have stress or structural weakness that isn't visible from just looking
at the seat.
What about hand-me-down seats from a child’s sibling or from
a relative? Even if you’re sure the car seat hasn’t been in an auto accident or
misused, you need to check the car seat’s expiration date. Each manufacturer
sets an expiration date for its car seats that should be visible on one of the
labels on the seat. Most car seats should be replaced every six years, with the
exception of car seats made with extended use periods such as the Evenflo
Symphony. You also need to be able to find the car seat’s model number so you
can verify with the manufacturer that the model number is not under a recall.
How to locate model number and expiration date on a car seat:
On larger seats the label could be on the upper back.
The label should
clearly read the child restraint name, model number, manufacture date and
Keep in mind, a used car seat could be missing some of the
original parts needed for safety. Do not use a car seat that shows any form of
cracks or damage, nor those with missing labels, model numbers, manufacture
dates or parts. Make sure you locate or request from the manufacturer the
instruction manual for the seat, as installation and use information is
specific to each model of car seat. You should also check with the manufacturer
to make sure the car seat has all the correct parts. If you cannot verify all
of these safety points, the car seat is considered unsafe for use, even if it
appears to be in good condition.
Evenflo does NOT recommend purchasing used car seats. It is
almost always safer to choose a new car seat for your child. Please don’t
hesitate to contact the manufacturer if you have any questions or concerns
about a new or used car seat. Our ParentLink team is available to help you with
any questions and can be reached at 800-233-5921 (U.S.) or 800-265-0749