When parents try to cut corners, the first thing they do is look for things that they can get second hand or things that they can use again – it’s common and there is nothing wrong with it. However, while secondhand clothing or secondhand toys aren’t all that bad, an old car seat is not the way you want to go. If you buy it secondhand or use someone else’s, you never know what that car seat has been through – was it well taken care of? How often did someone clean it? What is the expiration date? Even if the car seat is yours, sitting in storage can take a toll on it.
If you are going to use an old car seat, you have to know if it has ever been in a crash – whether it was being used or not. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t any visible damage, a crash creates a lot of torque, pulling, and warping that the car seat may not have been tested in, and it could reduce the ability to protect the child.