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'Potentially dangerous': Baby items experts warn should never be bought second-hand

By Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh |

Preparing for the arrival of a baby can get a little expensive, and it's easy for budgets to blow out.

So a great way Aussie parents can save money in the process is by purchasing second-hand items.

From ?prams, clothes, baby toys, car seats and more - savvy mums and dads have been taking advantage of bargain buys online to cut down the $9000 on average they spend on a child.

But some experts are now warning that buying second-hand may post a safety risk.

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Mother Comforting Newborn Baby Son In Nursery
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

?"Many wouldn't know that there is myriad standards that sit behind products including prams, car restraints, baby monitors to make their baby safe," says Adam Stingemore, General Manager of Standards Australia.

"Knowing a product meets Australian standards could help consumers choose between a quality item and a potentially dangerous dud."

Speaking to 9Honey Parenting, Stingemore says it's great that parents are taking advantage of bargains online, but they should be doing their research before purchasing.

"New and about-to-be parents will benefit from having clarity about the products they're about to spend money on."

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Kristina managed to find a cot in near-new condition.
Sydney mum Kristina found a new-new cot for her daughter Charlie for free on Facebook Marketplace. (Supplied)

So to help, he's provided some guidance on what products are safe to be purchased second-hand, and how we should approach our search.

What products should we avoid buying second-hand??

Car seats or child restraints should never be purchased used.

When a car seat is in an accident its efficacy can be compromised, in addition plastic elements of a car seat and restraint can deteriorate over time.

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For peace of mind, always buy car seats brand new.

Parents should also be wary of second-hand sleep products such as cots, bassinets and cradles which may have missing parts, or need repair.

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Mattresses should also be avoided as they must be well fitted to the cot and firm to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDIS).

Swings, bouncy seats and activity tables often come with removable parts which can pose choking hazards so think twice before buying these second hand as well.

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Lindsay Lohan reveals beach-themed nursery.
Lindsay Lohan gives fans a glimpse into baby's nursery

Are there any products that we don't need to worry about?

Clothes are the perfect second-hand purchase. Babies and toddlers grow so quickly, so second hand clothes are cost effective and sustainable.

Be careful to avoid clothes with drawstrings and ensure buttons, zippers and clasps are secure.

Also be mindful that some items stretch. For items like baby sleep bags, make sure that when your baby lifts their arms, the neckline does not cover their face.

In addition, baby bathtubs are an item needed for such a short time as babies quickly outgrow them.

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Boy preparing cardboard donation box full with toys. Concept of volunteering work, donation and clothes recycling. Helping poor people. Little boy holding card box with his old toys inside. Donation concept.
Toys are a great second-hand purchase as they can get expensive. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Check for any mould or damage and that they still have a mandatory warning label advising not to leave a baby unattended.

Toys can also be a great second-hand buy.

When considering a purchase check the age appropriateness of the toy and always check for any loose or missing parts or other choking hazards.

Special care needs to be taken with toys that involve button batteries or small powerful magnets. Both can cause severe injuries if ingested.

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What steps should you take before purchasing a product online??

Check the product meets relevant Australian Standards? through online research.

The easiest way to check is to look at the product description. If you're buying second-hand search for the product description online and ask the seller if they have the full instructions and warranty.

You can also go to the Government product safety website for information on whether the product has ever been recalled. Suffice to say, if it has been recalled or doesn't meet the Australian Standard?, don't buy it.

Ask questions of the seller and walk away if there's not enough information, or the product is damaged.

Ultimately, let common sense prevail.

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Household miscellaneous rubbish items put on the street for council bulk waste collection.
Standards Australia wants all parents to ensure they research second-hand products well. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What are some red flags to look out for in an online ad?

There are a few red flags to be aware of. If the seller can't provide a history of the product or can't confirm the product hasn't been in an accident.

If there are no instructions or warranties, if the product is old or has missing parts it may be best to shop elsewhere.

If there's not enough detail in the online description, ask for more and if the seller can't provide, don't complete the sale.

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