The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Second hand child seats - the dangers...

 

The dangers of second hand child seats

A big concern we have here at Good Egg Safety is the number of seats we see being sold secondhand – be it in a charity shop, car boot sale, online or in the local paper.



2nd hand maxi cosi OL



As part of our ongoing research, our expert has found four secondhand car seats. Throughout November we’ll be running a blog series looking at the dangers these seats pose and the potential risks to children's safety.

If you are a parent or carer and are thinking of buying secondhand, we hope our findings will inspire you to reconsider and choose new!

 

Would you let a stranger look after your baby?

 

 

Stranger Danger

 

Stranger Danger


Imagine if a stranger walked up to you and offered to look after your baby for a few hours.  You've never met them before and have no idea who they are. What would you say?  Your answer of course would be a resounding 'No!'  However well-meaning the stranger may be, you have no guarantee that they would take care of your child. You simply wouldn’t risk it because you have no way of trusting them.

So it is when you buy a secondhand car seat from a stranger.  You only have their word for it that the seat they are selling you will protect your child. You have no way of knowing whether it has been involved in a crash, or even whether it is the right size and type for your child and make of car. Even without realising it, they could be selling you a dangerous – or potentially lethal – seat.

You wouldn’t allow someone you did not know to look after your child without knowing they were thoroughly vetted and qualified. It’s no different when choosing a child car seat.  Buying a used seat from online auction sites may seem like a bargain, but it simply isn’t worth taking the risk.

 

What are the risks?

 


Dangers of Second Hand

 

 

Stay tuned for the first case study blog which will be released on Monday 17th November!


 

 

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What is a Group 0 car seat?

 

The group 0 car seat is the very first stage and has the lowest weight range.

 

Car seat stages can be confusing at the best of times and trying to understand which seat does what and what that group number means can be very frustrating!

 

Child seats are grouped based on the weight of the child that they can accommodate.

 

As an example:  A group 0+ seat is suitable from newborn to 13kg rear facing, a group 1 seat can accommodate a child between 9-18kg forward facing or some rear facing.  Therefore if you wanted a seat that could carry your baby from newborn right through to 18kg, it would be referred to as a 'group 0+1' - as it covers both weight categories!

 

A group 0 car seat is suitable from newborn up to 10kg – approx. 6 months old.

 

These seats are generally lie-flat carriers, but there are some old rear facing infant seats and some  0-1 seats that only rear face to 10kg – so it’s very important to check your seat for its weight limit!

 

You can find your seats weight limit on the orange sticker (below), which will be on your restraint.


Group 0 car seat label

 

Benefits of a Group 0 car seat

 

Not only is the lie flat carrier suitable for use in the car, they also clip to the pram chassis – like the more common rear facing infant carrier does.  The big benefit that this has over the rear facing infant carrier is that there is no time restraint on how long baby can be in the seat.

 

As the group 0 car seat lies flat, it keeps the baby’s spine in the most natural position and also helps keep their lungs open, so they can breathe freely.  Due to this lie flat position, they are particularly good for premature or tiny babies.

 

Lie flat carriers can also double up as a day bed or as an over night travel bed – so they are very versatile!

 

The fitment of the seat places the baby’s head in the center of the car – the safest place.

 

Things to consider

 

Lie flat carriers can be much heavier than infant carriers so popping into a shop carrying the baby in the seat won’t be a frequent occurrence!  The seat will really need to either stay in the car or be put on the pram chassis.  Some of the seat options are also on the large side, making them too bulky to carry comfortably.

 

These seats can also be trickier to fit than rear facing infant carriers.  They generally have clips that attach to the adult seat belt, which then clips to the seat, securing it tightly in place (see below).  Some lie flat carriers may have an option of an ISOFIX base.

 


 Group 0 car seat belt




Lie flat carriers take up 2 seat spaces in the car.  This needs to be considered if you regularly take passengers in the back of the car or if you have other children.



Group 0 car seat


 

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