Used Car Seat — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Used Car Seat

My husband and I are having our first child, and in our haste to get some not-so-expensive items, we bought a Graco travel system from someone who said it was only used 4 times (his baby hated it and he even gave us the receipt for it).  I now know that you aren't supposed to buy used car seats for safety reasons, but the chances that this car seat was in an accident are small.  Do you think it's sufficient if we just buy a new car seat base and keep the used carrier portion?  Or should we get a whole new car seat?

Re: Used Car Seat

  • Personally I would say replace the whole thing. You really don't know. I could see trusting a close friend or family member, but not a stranger. You just never know...
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  • You need to trust this person with your child's life.  Sure, the odds are in your favor that they were never in a MAJOR accident but a lot of people don't consider a minor rear ending an accident, but the car seat manufacturers do.  Checking the car seat on a plane could have caused damaged, as well as washing the harness straps.  That last one is a big one because while a lot (not all) of people understand the issue with an accident, very few people know or care that harness straps are never to be submerged or washed with chemicals.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • If he gave you the receipt for it can't you take it back to where it was purchased and exchange it for a new one?
    Alicia0817M0ON
  • I would not use a used seat unless it was from someone you know extremely well, like a sister or brother. Like pp mentioned, even if your car was minorly rearended in a parking lot, you should not use the seat. Your sister is likely to tell you small details about your life like that (or at least mine is). A stranger who doesn't know a lot about car seat safety won't tell you that. You can find carseats for around $100...it will be money well spent.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers 
  • Ours is used. Take it to the fire department and they will tell you how to install it properly and if it is safe and up to code.
    @Natalie2290 if they're trained CPSTs they can guide you in proper installation and tell you if the seat is expired.  What they can't tell you is if it's safe to use.  A seat can be damaged in ways that are invisible to the naked eye but in ways that can still cause the seat to fail in a crash.  The plastic can have tiny cracks or weak spots and the straps could have fraying or weakness from being washed.  I know that there isn't always tons of money for things but while your baby could literally survive owning only one outfit, a car seat, like food, is something where spending the money can't be seen as optional.  If anyone needs help finding a seat in their budget, the FB group Car Seats for the Littles is an amazing resource.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • elmoali said:
    Ours is used. Take it to the fire department and they will tell you how to install it properly and if it is safe and up to code.
    @Natalie2290 if they're trained CPSTs they can guide you in proper installation and tell you if the seat is expired.  What they can't tell you is if it's safe to use.  A seat can be damaged in ways that are invisible to the naked eye but in ways that can still cause the seat to fail in a crash.  The plastic can have tiny cracks or weak spots and the straps could have fraying or weakness from being washed.  I know that there isn't always tons of money for things but while your baby could literally survive owning only one outfit, a car seat, like food, is something where spending the money can't be seen as optional.  If anyone needs help finding a seat in their budget, the FB group Car Seats for the Littles is an amazing resource.
    Yes I understand that. But this is passed down from my Aunt, no accidents, no plane checks, nothing more then being in the car. So I feel confident in it and in that my Aunt doesn't want to kill my baby. 
    Thank you very much for the tip about the FB group. I will have to look into that for the next step up in car seats. We also nee another one anyways so I'll be checkin it out. 
    I was more commenting that having it inspected doesn't help people who would use the inspection in lieu of trusting the person who gave it to them, kwim?  If you don't trust/know the person well enough to ask the questions and trust the answers, the inspection won't help with that.  Obviously you trust your aunt :)  CSFLT is a great page - very very informative!
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • Yeah I didn't think about if you got it from say Once Upon A Child or something. 
    Even though we have this one. I wanted to get one that was convertible usable from birth to toddler hood. I would like it to be very safe but wont break the bank. $200-300 is as much as we can afford right now, and I was wondering if anyone has a car seat they swear by. =)
    They have a file of recommended seats but if you give them your child's physical stats and also what car you have, the techs will give you recommendations for what will fit your kid and your car and give you an idea of how much it is.  Your budget is actually pretty high so you'll have lots of options :)
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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    [Deleted User]
  • I got mine used from people I knew and trusted. I would not buy from a stranger. 
    Eat your food people. You are pregnant, not made of glass. ~PrimRoseMama
    The Benes Boys were born 9/3/13! woooo
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