Put Family Fun on the Shoppin’ List!

Buyer Beware. Seller Take Care.
Safety tips for buying and selling children’s items a garage sales. 
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Sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare All Saints

Tis the season for garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, estate sales—you name it. There is no doubt about it; there is a financial benefit to these sales for both the seller and buyer.

“Whether you’re buying or selling items for babies or children, we ask buyers and sellers to consider safety first,” says Erin Donaldson, Coalition Coordinator, Safe Kids Kenosha-Racine. All Saints is the Lead Agency for Safe Kids Kenosha–Racine.
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Yard Sale pic Wheaton blogBuyers

“One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself before you venture out bargain hunting,” says Donaldson.

Things to ask yourself. Is the toy/item age appropriate? Are there identified choking hazards? Many items at yard sales are older in age. Are you up to date about the most current safety recommendations for certain products, like cribs, toys, and sporting equipment? Are you aware of any recalls on specific items or manufacturers? Learn more about toy recalls.

“If you’re not sure about the safety, talk with the seller to see if they will reimburse you if you find out the item is not safe or has been recalled,” she adds.


“If you are de-cluttering your home, remember your responsibility in selling standards,” reminds Donaldson. “Some broken items can be repaired and reused by others. Some are just accidents waiting to happen.”

Be mindful of appliances with frayed electrical cords or loose wires that can cause fires. Even knick-knacks or dinnerware with chipped edges can be dangerous. Be transparent about items that need repair, may have lead paint, or may be unsafe for children.

Here are some basic facts to keep in mind when buying or selling items for children.

  • Cribs, playpens, baby gates, baby walkers, and car/booster seats can be expensive when bought new, but they can be the most dangerous items, if Yard Sale pic 2 Wheaton blogpurchased without knowing its history.
  • Buy a used car/booster seat only if you know its full crash history. That means you must buy it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the Internet. Once a seat has been in a crash, it needs to be replaced.
  • Gently used baby toys and clothes can often be cleaned and sanitized before use by your child. However, don’t fall in love with that antique tricycle or high chair. Most items produced in those days used lead paint and even flammable materials. Unless you know someone who can refurbish it with safe materials, you’re better off with something new.
  • Lead paint has been found in a wide range of toys. Painted toys made outside the U.S. can often be contaminated with lead, as can painted toys made before 1976.

Want to learn more? Download a free safety checklist for items that can be unsafe to sell or purchase at a yard sale by visiting www.mywheaton.org/safekids.

Stay up-to-date on relevant topics for your family by following All Saints and Safe Kids Kenosha-Racine on Facebook!




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