Thinking safety when sharing, buying second-hand or donating baby products.

Published:11 November 2016Back to posts

A guest post by Madison Lo, a Program Assistant at Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children safe by improving children’s product safety.

Sharing baby products has also helped many families on the go. Traveling can be an enriching experience for young children, but packing large items like play yards and strollers can be a hassle. As a result, many parents opt to rent or share products when traveling. Economically and practically, there are certainly benefits in second-hand products. However, when sharing, buying second-hand, or donating baby products, we need to think about safety above all else.

When sharing or selling used baby products, it is crucial that the products don’t put children at risk. Kids In Danger (KID) — a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety — encourages everyone to take the necessary steps to ensure that the products they donate, buy, sell, or share do not pose injury risks to children. No parent wants to accidentally list a product that put a child in danger, nor does any parent want to unknowingly rent a dangerous product for their own child to use. Here are some guidelines for thinking safe when sharing, buying second-hand, or donating baby products:

  • Check every item you donate, buy, rent or share against a published list of recalls to ensure that it is safe to use and to share. Search for the product on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website or on If you visit on your mobile device, you can search on the go.
  • Only list or rent a car seat if it was manufactured within the past 6 years and has never been in a car accident. Expiration dates should be in the manual or on the label on the seat — if you can’t find it, don’t pass it down.
  • Only list or rent cribs that were manufactured after June 28, 2011. More infants die in accidents involving cribs than any other nursery product, but new standards, which went into effect on June 28, 2011, have made them safer. Do not list cribs on the marketplace if they have drop-rail sides (banned in 2011 after various suffocation and fall incidents), if there are large spaces between the slats where an infant can get stuck, or if they have loose, missing, or broken parts.
  • When listing or renting highchairs, check for sharp corners and missing hardware, ensure it is stable and that the tray and straps are secure, and make sure the paint is not chipping. As with cribs, older high chairs may not meet current safety standards and may not be tip-proof.
  • Before listing or renting a stroller, make sure that the brakes work, the restraint straps are in place and functioning, and that there are no sharp edges or pinch points. Many strollers have recently been recalled for hinges that could crush or amputate children’s fingertips. Also ensure that the stroller is stable when folded and unfolded.
  • Don’t rent any equipment from a smoker’s home. Children and babies are especially susceptible to the effects of third-hand smoke, which refers to tobacco residue that lingers on items like toys and clothing.

You can never be too careful. By following these simple guidelines, buying secondhand, sharing products with friends or family or renting/donating children’s products can be safer and more economical.

For more information and tips, check out KID’s “3 Steps to Safety”, do’s and don’ts for second-hand use, and more on our website.