Topic of the Month

September 2012
Take A Second Look At Second Hand Baby Gear

In these tough economic times, parents are pinching pennies anywhere they can. A new nursery can cost as little or as much as you are willing to spend. Whether by choice or necessity, parents are increasingly buying second hand products. From garage sales, auctions, thrift stores or friends and family, parents are finding ways to cut costs on baby gear.

Buying new products that meet current standards is the best option. However, if you are on a tight budget, buying second hand is a good alternative. It is vital you follow a few basic rules to ensure you aren’t compromising safety for price.

If you plan to use second hand baby gear, take a second look before you purchase or borrow it and be sure to follow these guidelines to keep your baby safe and sound:

  • Adult Supervision — The only sure-fire way to keep your baby safe is direct supervision when juvenile products are in use.
  • Read Instructions and Warnings — For the safest product use, be sure to always read and follow all manufacturers’ instructions and warning labels.
  • When using second hand products, make sure all parts are available, the product is fully functional, not broken, and has not been recalled.
  • Safest Option — Keep in mind that new products meeting current safety standards are the safest option.
  • Inspection During Use — Don’t forget to frequently inspect products for missing hardware, loose threads and strings, holes, and tears.
  • Discontinue Use — Monitor your child’s growth and development. Discontinue using a product as your baby reaches the limits defined by the manufacturer.

Most importantly, err on the side of caution and safety and use your best judgment when buying second hand products or borrowing hand-me-downs from friends and family.

September is Baby Safety Month and  this year, JPMA is helping educate parents and caregivers on the importance of safely using second hand, hand-me-down, and heirloom baby gear. For more tips, do’s and don’ts, saving alternatives and more, visit www.babysafetmonth.org.