One of the nation’s most popular ways to get rid of junk is to hold a garage sale, which has become associated with bargain hunting and children’s lemonade stands. When it comes to purchasing baby supplies at garage sales, however, you need to be careful. The safety of your baby should be in the forefront of your mind, regardless of where you shop.
Obviously, the primary concern with purchasing baby supplies at garage sales is safety. For example, cribs manufactured before 1986 and playpens in circulation before 1976 can be dangerous for your baby, and the safety guidelines have since been revised. It can be difficult to tell how old one of these items is because most people take reasonably good care of baby supplies, so you have to be careful.
It is also a good idea to avoid purchasing baby supplies at garage sales when looking for appliances or electrical products. Items like humidifiers and bottle warmers can easily be mishandled by previous owners, which might make them unsafe to use in your home. Furthermore, these items might have been in storage for fifteen years, making them just as dangerous.
Another baby supply you should avoid purchasing at garage sales is car seats. For one thing, the safety guidelines have been revised several times and it can be almost impossible to determine how old they are. Also, if the car seat doesn’t come with the installation manual, you won’t know exactly how to put it in your car, and you might make a mistake. And finally, a car seat that has been involved in an accident is patently unsafe, regardless of whether or not there is visible damage.
When shopping for baby supplies at garage sales, try to use your best judgment. Look for items that are new and in reasonable good condition with no obvious signs of wear and tear. Ask the owners about the items’ histories, including where they were purchased and how old they are. If the owner doesn’t know or refuses to comment, your best bet is to just walk away.
If you do purchase baby supplies at a garage sale, take them home and wash them immediately. Use a good-quality liquid detergent in hot water, then steam them afterwards. Before you use them with your child, test them to make sure they work properly. If something is missing a part or doesn’t work correctly, throw it in the trash.
Remember, safety should be the most important thing when purchasing baby supplies anywhere. If you have any reservations, go ahead and pay full price for the peace of mind that comes with it.