How to make sure you don’t buy a recalled item for your child

When buying a stroller or a toy for a child at a second-hand store, parents may think they’re getting a good deal, but some of those items could be dangerous.

Most people have seen or heard about recalls for all kinds of different items, but that doesn’t mean those things end up fixed or out of use. Experts say there are thousands of dangerous, even deadly, kids products that are sold online or at a second-hand store after they were recalled.

Buying used items for kids can be big task for parents.

“Probably would do some research and check opinions of people who have purchased products in the past,” said Dorsey Koelsch mother of one with another baby on the way.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled about 400 kid’s toys over the last seven years.

At the Once Upon A Child location in Onalaska, staff see recalled items brought in all the time, but before any item can hit its shelves, they must pass a multi-point safety inspection.

“The first thing that we do whenever we get items in is to visually look them over to make sure there are no immediate concerns that we can see,” store manager Heather Buchholtz said.

If a product passes the visual safety inspection, it must then must pass a recall test.

“Any sort of safety concern that would come up either for us if we’re doing our visual inspection or based on the safety website is a no for us,” Buchholtz said.

Buchholtz said most of the time parents don’t even realize an item has been recalled when they bring it in the sell, but her store’s job is to keep those items off the shelves.

Koelsch said she appreciates the store making the effort to keep her children safe, but said parents still should make the effort to check.

“I kind of feel like if you want to be 100 percent sure you kind of need to do the research yourself,” Koelsch said.

A few tips when shopping for certain kids items second hand: Look for the expiration date on car seats because they usually expire after about six years, and never buy a seat that’s been in an accident. Only buy cribs manufactured after June 2011 when new safety standards were put into place.

Not all stores and websites have this no-recall policy. Places like Amazon and Ebay have technology to block items that have been recalled from being sold, and Craiglist only has policies in place, but recalled items are often still sold.

If you would like to check if an item has been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety website