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Car Seats at ND Garage Sales: A Dangerous Deal

PHOTO: It may seem like a good deal, but the North Dakota health officials say car seats should not be purchased at garage sales. This because the seats may have missing parts or be broken, or could be part of a recall. Photo credit: Richard Penn/Flickr.
PHOTO: It may seem like a good deal, but the North Dakota health officials say car seats should not be purchased at garage sales. This because the seats may have missing parts or be broken, or could be part of a recall. Photo credit: Richard Penn/Flickr.
April 13, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. – With the start of the garage sale season in the state, a reminder that while the deals may be good, for some products, such as car seats, they could also be dangerous.

Dawn Mayer, child passenger safety program director with the Division of Injury Prevention and Control at the North Dakota Department of Health, says it's recommended that people do not purchase car seats at garage sales, and the reasons are many.

"There may be missing parts,” she points out. “It may be too old to be used any more because car seats do have an expiration date. They may be broken. They could be recalled. Car seats don't come with instructions sometimes at the garage sales."

While purchasing a car seat at a garage sale is discouraged, Mayer says that having one for young children is vital in keeping them safe.

An average of four children are killed and more than 500 injured in car crashes in the U.S. each day, and age and size-appropriate vehicle safety seats can greatly reduce the risk.

Mayer also notes that proper installation of car seats is key for the greatest amount of safety.

"Depending on what type of car seat, you want to use the seat belt or the lower anchors and tethers, and you use one or the other,” she explains. “So, we do stress again reading your owner's manual to make sure that you do it correctly."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75 percent of children are riding in car safety seats that aren't properly installed or don't fit correctly.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND