Summer is winding down and kids are getting ready to go back to school, but yard sales are still going strong. Die hard yard sale goers know exactly when and where to find the best deals. Armed with maps and newspaper ads they often head out at the butt crack of dawn hoping to get the best deals first. While some really great deals can be found at yard sales, a lot of dangerous items can be found among the piles of castoffs. Knowing what to look out for can mean the difference between finding a good deal and finding a potential hazard.
Most people who sell items at yard sales are doing so because the items are old, outdated and not-so-gently used. This makes some items questionable as far as safety goes. Buying a crib at a yard sale to save money is almost always a bad idea. There are many new standards for crib safety nowadays, making an older model a safety hazard.
The same goes for car seats. Once again, safety standards have changed for car seats over the years and this makes the older seats found at yard sales questionable. Parts and mechanisms can also deteriorate over years. Unless the car seat looks like a recent model, it’s best to pass this by.
Plastic bicycle helmets deteriorate over time due to wear and exposure to the elements. The cost of a new bicycle helmet is affordable enough to forgo buying a used one. Many police departments and other community organizations have free bicycle helmet programs available to consumers.
Many older toys contain toxic levels of lead paint. The same goes for a lot of children’s jewelry. If your child really wants a toy he or she spots at a yard sale and you decide to buy it you can purchase a lead kit for under $10. If the toy contains lead throw it out.
You can find some excellent deals on children’s clothing while perusing local yard sales. Just be sure to remove any drawstrings if possible. If it’s not possible to remove the drawstring then don’t buy the article of clothing. Drawstrings on children’s clothing presents a choking hazard. Even older children have been strangled when their clothing drawstrings have gotten caught in school bus doors and on playground equipment.