Q. Can I use a secondhand car seat to save money?
A. A car seat should not be used after it is involved in a moderate to severe crash. Even if it looks fine, its internal structure may have been weakened by the impact of the crash. Never buy a used car seat at a secondhand shop or tag sale because you have no way of knowing whether it was involved in a crash.
If a friend offers to lend you a car seat, and she's sure it's never been in a crash, ask her these questions. If all of the answers are yes, go ahead and borrow it.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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