I see car seats for sale or for free on places like Craigslist or the Marketplace all too often and I get it, but here's why you should avoid getting one of these car seats for your child.
Car seats are one of the most important safety purchases you'll make for your child. Unfortunately, many parents make the mistake of purchasing or using a used car seat, thinking it will save them money. This can be a dangerous decision that puts your child at risk. In this blog post, we'll discuss why it's not safe to use or buy used car seats and why places like Goodwill or other thrift stores won't take donated car seats. We'll also offer some options to recycle your car seat and how to obtain free car seats from places like DriveSafeMissoula.com.
First of all, it's not safe to use or buy a used car seat because you don't know the history of the seat, even if the person trying to get rid of the seat states, "It's never been in an accident." Was it in a car accident? Has it been recalled? Is it expired? Most Car seats have a shelf life of around 6 years, after which they should no longer be used. Additionally, many car seats are subject to recalls, which can make them unsafe to use. When you buy a used car seat, you can't be sure it hasn't been in an accident, recalled, or expired.
Second, thrift stores like Goodwill or other charity organizations do not accept used car seats for donation because of the same reasons. They cannot guarantee the safety and history of the seat and do not want to put any child at risk.
Here's the article that sparked this blog post: 51 Common Items You Think Montana Goodwill Accepts, But Do not.
So what can you do with an old or used car seat? One option is to recycle it. Many car seat manufacturers have recycling programs where you can send in your old seat to be properly disposed of and recycled. Locally, here in Missoula, places like Target offer a car seat recycling program twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall and when you bring in a used seat for recycling, they often give you a coupon for savings on your next seat.
Here at Drive Safe Missoula, we do have a limited number of free car seats available for families who are currently reciving some sort of public assistance. Check out this page for more informaiton: Car Seat Vouchers
In conclusion, using or buying a used car seat is not safe. It's crucial to prioritize your child's safety and invest in a new car seat that is up-to-date and not expired. Thank you and as always Drive Safe Missoula.