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Don't buy these 5 baby products used

Consumer Reports News: April 15, 2008 01:56 PM

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Want to save money? Preowned baby products can be a bargain. But for some items, like those we list here, you’ll want to buy new because it’s safer.

Don’t buy a used…

Play yard. Why? Newer models are more likely to meet current voluntary safety standards, which address problems of earlier models. Older, used models may have a top-rail hinge that can collapse, forming a steep, V-shaped angle that puts children at risk of being trapped or strangled, or they may have been recalled for one problem or another.

Car seat. A used seat may have been in a crash or recalled. The manufacturer’s instructions may be missing. If you must use a secondhand seat, avoid those with an unknown history or that are older than 6 years. In the world of car seats, a 6-year-old model is a relic--and risky.

Crib. Older models may not meet current safety standards or may be in disrepair. If you must use an older crib, avoid those built before 2000, about a year after the latest voluntary standards for slat-attachment strength took effect. Check the manufacture date on the crib label, which is required by law. Currently, 12 states have laws banning the sale of unsafe used cribs or prohibiting their use in child-care facilities. Your state may have such a law.

Breast pump. We’ve said it before--using a preowned pump is like sharing someone else’s toothbrush. It’s unhygienic. And unless a breast pump is a hospital-grade rental, it’s only meant for one user anyway.

Soft infant carrier. Strap-on carriers and slings have been subject to recalls, so buy new to ensure that you’re carrying your baby safely. Even with a new model, check the straps, snaps and other closures regularly to be sure they’re in good working order.

To play it even safer, make sure any used baby product you’re considering hasn’t been recalled. For the latest recall information, visit When buying new, send in the registration card so you’ll be alerted to any recalls automatically.

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