From: Bonnie Herrick, PHN
Child Passenger Safety Technician
Vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death and serious injuries for children and can be largely prevented through the proper use of approved child restraint devices. However, I would like to sound a warning against purchasing a car or booster seat at a garage sale.
The three main reasons a car or booster seat should not be purchased at a garage sale are:
It could be more than six years old and thus no longer reliable.
It could have been recalled by the manufacturer and thus defective.
It could have been in a crash that resulted in damage to the seat that may not be readily apparent.
When you buy a car or booster seat at a garage sale, you do not know its history and as a result, you could unknowingly put your child in harmís way.
Also, when you purchase a car or booster seat commercially remember a few key points:
Price does not indicate safety. If it is government approved, it meets the necessary safety standard. Price often reflects appearance aspects that have nothing to do with safety.
Make sure it is the right seat based on your childís size
Before you buy, try out multiple seats in your vehicle and determine which fits best. The seat needs to fit correctly in your car or it canít properly do its job.
When you buy a safety seat, be sure to register it with the manufacturer so you will be notified of any safety recalls.
Get your car or booster seat installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician. Four out of five car seats are improperly installed.
If you have questions about your car/booster seat or would like to have your car/booster seat installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician, please call Winona County Community Services - Public Health Unit at 507-457-6400 to talk to a technician or schedule a car seat check.