There are certain baby items that should be bought brand new for safety reasons.
It’s hard not to get swept up into buying every little thing when you are expecting a baby. Parents want the best for their child, but some baby items are very expensive. The United States Forest Product Industry (FPI) estimates that the baby product industry rakes in around $260 million every year.
Some things are great to buy used. There’s no doubt that small things can be passed along after a good washing as long as the buttons are intact and the items haven’t been recalled. However, there are some baby products that you should never use as a hand-me-down or buy from yard sales.
It may seem harmless to buy or get a car seat from someone else, but there are some concerns. First of all, all car seats have an expiration date that are engraved in to the back of the car seat. Although the car seat may not expire for a few more years, new regulations that have passed since the car seat was made may make the car seat out of date in terms of safety. If you buy a car seat from a garage sale or someone you don’t know, there is no way to tell if the seat had been in an accident or had damage done to it.
If you are worried about not being able to afford a car seat, there are many resources. First of all, you can find safe car seats for as little as $50, even if it’s only a car seat that will last until your child is a certain height or weight. You can also visit the local hospital, fire department, or police station and talk to the professionals there on how to get a free car seat. Most public safety places will give you a car seat or tell you where you can get a free one.
Any new baby crib you purchase should meet minimum government requirements. If you assemble it to the manufacturer’s instructions and use the crib properly, even the least expensive crib should be safe for baby. However, in recent years, many recalls have been made on Jenny Lind cribs and other crib brands with drop down sides.
Mattresses are another worry. Used mattresses may be contaminated with vomit, urine, and feces, all of which tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Something else to keep in mind is that a baby’s mattress should be very firm to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). A used mattress usually gets soft over time, which can increase the chances of your baby suffocating.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people think they can wash and sterilize a breast pump and give it to someone else to use. The exterior parts of a breast pump can be thoroughly washed, but the safety hazard is inside the pump, which provides areas for bacteria to thrive, is very unhygienic. Reusing someone else’s breast pump can expose your baby to harmful bacteria and possibly even mold.
Electric breast pumps can end up being very expensive, especially hospital grade breast pumps. Hospitals will usually loan or rent out breast pumps if you need them, but handheld breast pumps can be fairly cheap, even if they are just enough to finish the job.
If there are ever any other concerns about using secondhand baby products, pediatricians are great professionals to ask. Also, always register your products online and keep your email address and mailing address up-to-date for important recall information on products you might have purchased. You can never be too sure of keeping your baby safe.
Published in: Consumer Information