/ by Sherri Hannan, RN, Safe Kids Fayette County Coordinator
Yard sales can be a great way to find bargains, and items other kids have outgrown are among the most popular yard sale items.
But while you’re bargain hunting, beware of hidden dangers.
Safe Kids Fayette County recommends following these guidelines when purchasing items for your infant or child at yard sales:
1. First, it’s best to buy cribs, car seats and other safety items brand new. Improvements to manufacturing and to the safety features available make it worth the investment. Plus, even if a used item is in good shape when you buy it, its parts are more likely to wear out or break, posing danger down the road.
2. Make sure the item has not been recalled. You can check at cpsc.gov
3. Toys should be age-appropriate. Follow all of the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings.
4. Make sure clothing is free of drawstrings around the neck or waist.
5. Bike helmets should fit snuggly when adjusted correctly. Check helmet to make sure it is free of visible cracks and has never been in a crash.
6. Do not purchase a crib made before June 2011, as they do not meet today’s safety standards. If possible, it’s best to purchase a new crib for your baby.
7. Do not purchase a car seat that’s more than six years old. Check the label. Ask the seller if they are the original owner and if the seat has ever been in a crash. Again, it’s preferable to purchase a new car seat, if possible.
8. Be wary of motorized toys or other toys with wheels. Many require skills that young children don’t have yet. Check age recommendations before purchasing.
9. Make sure strollers, high chairs and changing tables have working safety belts.
10. Ask for product instruction manuals. If they’re not available, look for them online.
11. Consider any item with small parts to be a potential choking hazard. Any part that could fit through a toilet paper roll is too small.
12. Do not buy baby bath seats, walkers, sleep positioners or crib bedding sets as they are not safe to use. Your baby’s crib should be completely empty except for a tight-fitting sheet.
13. Do not buy items that are broken or have missing pieces or frayed cords. For items with small coin-shaped batteries, make sure the battery compartment can still be screwed closed. These batteries present both a choking and a poisoning hazard to children.