Public health experts explain what you should be cautious of buying at yard sales

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Published: May. 9, 2022 at 3:11 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - With yard sale season near, those with the Kentucky River District Health Department (KRDHD) are reminding everyone of what you should avoid purchasing secondhand, regardless of the bargain.

Public Health Director Scott Lockard said you should never buy car seats, cribs or baby gates from a yard sale unless they are in newer condition and come with their original owner’s manual.

Emma Davidson, Childcare Health Consultant with KRDHD, added that with the purchase of any car seat, you should always ensure the registration card comes with it so you can send it back to the manufacturer and be notified if the seat is recalled.

Lockard said that once a car seat has been in an accident, it should not be used again.

The same rule applies for protective gear, like bicycle helmets.

He added that a lot of child safety items can become defective after long-term use.

“And lots of times too, cribs and other baby related items, baby gates especially, once they’ve been used for a while and they may be missing springs or missing parts that make them safe to utilize,” he said.

Lockard said you should also avoid buying secondhand baby bottles and non-stick cookware unless they are brand new.

“At the first sign of any peeling or scratches on Teflon-coated items, we should be disposing of those,” he said.

In terms of used furniture or clothing, Lockard said to deep clean these items to avoid the risk of getting bed bugs.

“Used clothing or anything like that that you can get at a yard sale, we recommend that those are laundered in hot water and go through dryer cycles at high heat there, again to make sure that those are safer,” he added.

Another item that Lockard said you should be weary of buying secondhand is shoes. When you buy older shoes, you are taking the risk of buying something that has been molded by someone else’s foot and long-term wear of a shoe that is not made for you can potentially hurt your feet.

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