Concerns raised about second hand child car seat parts
A Road Safety GB specialist has expressed safety concerns about the sale of second hand child car seat parts on the eBay online auction site.
The parts being offered for sale vary from harnesses to polystyrene inserts.
While selling second-hand car seat parts is not illegal, there are obvious safety concerns and close examination of some of the photos appears to show evidence of damage or wear.
Julie Dagnall, director of Child Car Seat Safety and Road Safety GB’s child car seat specialist, said: “I’ve spoken to Which?, who have a long association with the issue of child car seat safety, and the manufacturer (Maxi Cosi) who confirmed that the items are not for sale by themselves and that they cannot guarantee that the parts are safe to use.
“These parts may not come with instructions on how to replace and fit the components and could easily be installed incorrectly, putting a child in serious danger in the event of a collision.
“We urge everyone involved in the sale and fitting of child car seats to warn parents of the dangers of using second hand parts, and second hand car seats.
“Our advice is never to fit second-hand replacement parts. Always check with the manufacturer first to see if they feel the seat part can be replaced, and only use new replacement parts which are supplied and fitted by the manufacturer complete with instructions.”
“We also advise people not to purchase a second-hand child car seat unless you can be certain of its history, and that it has not been involved in a collision.”
For more information contact Julie Dagnall on 07581 709 975.
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A similar thing could be said for second hand cars. The safety standards for child seats have not changed for 6 years and most seats have a manufacturer life of at least 5 years so unless the seat has been in an accident, which over 99% will not have been, then a seat under 5 years old is safe.
This is of course very difficult and rather than saying that people should not purchase second hand seats which seems to make a lot of recycling sense there needs to be some mechanism in place whereby child car seats can be checked to ensure that they still meet the standard. We are never going to stop parents looking for products in this way as they attempt to budget for their new offspring and I just wonder how many charities etc which help struggling families are stocking up on child car seats and using them on a loan basis but not fully examining them when they come back.
Graham Feest Secretary AIRSO
It's a similar issue to second hand motorcycle crash helmets, we'd discourage anyone from buying one but for those on a limited budget there's no law against it.