Welcome to Good Egg Safety’s blog series on second hand car seats. We are running a number of blog’s to evaluate if it is safe to buy and use a second hand car seat, and what dangers second hand seats pose to children.
As part of the blog series, our expert has purchased car seats from an online auction site to assess through case studies. We have already released the first case study, which you can read here.
Is this seat safe?
To the eye, this seat is in good condition. It also comes with a base and the newborn insert – this seat and base cost £20 which is far less than the cost of buying new.
However, when our expert inspected this seat, it became apparent that it isn’t as good as it appears to be. We have found problems with the polystyrene protection in the seat, the harness and crotch strap. We also have concerns about the base.
The harness has folded and twisted in the past, beyond being able to use it – the harness has had material stitched to it to straighten it out. This hugely reduces the integrity of the harness, causing serious concern over it’s ability to restrain a child in a collision.
The crotch strap...
The crotch strap has been tampered with, to the point that it is extremely dangerous. It has torn in the past, and been stitched – this crotch strap would not be able to safely take the force of a collision and restrain a child.
The polystyrene protection...
When we removed the cover of this seat, we found the polystyrene head support damaged. This seat would be unable to spread the force of a collision as well as a new seat would, and the damage here could also cause head injuries to a child, despite being in the very safest rear facing position.
The plastic base contains many stress fractures. This base may have been previously involved in a collision, dropped or not very well cared for. The plastic of the base is unlikely to be as strong as needed to adequately protect a child and hold the seat in place in a collision.
Is this seat safe?
No. We would go as far as to term this seat a “death trap”. It is extremely unlikely to protect a child in a collision and should never have been sold on second hand to the last user of this seat. The person who last used this seat had no idea it was as dangerous as it is.
Our expert is going to keep this seat and use it in training and demonstrations to highlight the dangers of buying a seat without knowing the history.
Have you ever used a second hand car seat, then found problems with it? We want to hear your experiences!