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Should I avoid buying kids' stuff at garage sales?
Q: Are you in favor of using garage sale items that are in good condition? I recently bought a swing made in 1987 from a garage sale and wonder if it is safe. It appears to be in very good condition.
Shea St. Paul
A: Sometimes, a good price can be a bad choice, but it is usually alright to purchase toys found at garage sales. Just be sure they are safe for your child to use and are in good condition with no broken parts or sharp edges. However, never buy a car seat from a garage sale, even if it appears to be in good condition. You can't be sure that it was not involved in a car accident. Regarding the swing you purchased, check with the manufacturer to ensure that it is still safe to use. Be sure to request instructions if you didn't get them.
Kathleen Alfano Ph.D., Former Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price®