Used and Hand-Me-Down Car Seats

Published On: November 20, 2018

Maintaining Safety While Saving

Previously Used Car Seats

Families with multiple children will often debate whether or not to reuse a car seat when available. If anyone can outgrow something fast, babies have us all beat. So usually a hand-me-down car seat from your growing child to your youngest might be welcomed with opened arms. Who doesn’t want to re-purpose, recycle but most of all reduce cost? Here’s some great ways of how to maintain safety, if you choose to use a previously used car seat. According the NHTSA if you can check five items off this safety checklist, used car seats are alright if:

  • No prior accidents
  • Labels with the manufacturer and model number
  • No recalls
    • Why you need those labels
  • All the car seats parts are there
    • You can call the manufacturer or check online with the label information if there are any missing pieces
  • Instruction manual
    • You can replace this from the manufacturer or check for online availability

Custom Car Seat Covers

There are lots custom seat coverings you can make yourself or purchase from someone who may be handy. Although this may be a fun and cute, this is not recommended. You never want to alter any of the items on a car seat, this reduces the seat’s effectiveness in an accident. So rather than replacing the material coverings, look into thoroughly washing the originals.

New Car Seat Base

Purchasing a new base for a used seat is a good practice. Car seat bases can expire. The date will be stamped in the base. The usual life is around five to six years. If you receive a hand-me-down car seat, purchasing a new base is worth the time your child will be in the car seat.

What are your thoughts on a used car seat? Remember the best way to ensure that a car seat is safe and has never been involved in an accident, is to purchase the car seat initially from a store.