According to safety experts, consumers should be cautious when purchasing or receiving second-hand children’s items as they may be unsafe or not meet today’s more stringent safety standards. According to Health Canada, some consumers may not be aware that their crib, stroller, car seat or travel system has been subject to a recall or advisory, potentially leaving dangerous products in the home. Beyond recalls, certain older and used baby merchandise can also be damaged or no longer compliant with updated safety standards.
"As a company, Toys"R"Us is committed to the safety of the children and families it serves," said Kevin Macnab, President, Toys"R"Us, Canada. "Through the Great Trade-In, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of product safety and encourage parents to return old merchandise as a way to significantly reduce the number of potentially harmful products in circulation."
The Great Trade-In event begins on Friday, May 28 and continues through Friday, June 11 at all Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us retail locations across Canada. During this time, stores will accept any used crib, car seat, stroller or travel system in exchange for 20 per cent savings on the purchase of a new crib, stroller, car seat or travel system from select manufacturers. Toys"R"Us will then ensure that the turned-in products are destroyed and disposed of responsibly.
"The health and safety of children is of the utmost priority to the Government of Canada. This initiative is an excellent opportunity to remind parents and families of the risks associated with using second-hand or older consumer products, especially those intended for children," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "We encourage all parents and caregivers to carefully inspect their cribs, strollers, car seats and travel systems and to ensure they meet current safety standards."
Health Canada regulates child care equipment like cribs, car seats and strollers. These types of products may have been affected by recent enhancements in Canadian safety requirements, which may mean older products are less safe or non-compliant. For example, cribs made before 1986 may not meet current safety standards.
Some of the potential hazards associated with old and second-hand cribs, car seats and other baby products include:
– Car seats can sustain damage in a crash that may not be visible to the naked eye, but could prevent the seat from functioning properly;
– Car seats have expiration dates, as the materials can deteriorate over time, potentially making the car seat less effective in a crash. Parents can check with the car seat manufacturer to determine the recommended period of use for a particular car seat;
– Certain baby products are not considered safe to use if they were made prior to a particular manufacture date. For example, carriages and strollers made before 1985 may not meet current safety standards and should not be used.
– Products made of or that contain certain materials, like wood and plastic, can deteriorate from use and from exposure to weather conditions like heat, potentially compromising safety integrity; and
– Parts or instruction books for proper assembly, installation or use may be missing.
In addition, parents and caregivers should ensure that their products have not been subject to a recall or an advisory. For more information on consumer product recalls, please visit the Health Canada website at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps-recalls. To learn more about second-hand products or those that have special safety requirements in Canada, please see Health Canada’s fact sheet on Second-Hand Products & Garage Sale Safety.
Consumers are often unaware of the history of a used baby product, leading safety organizations, such as Safe Kids Canada (www.safekidscanada.ca), the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick Children, to recommend against purchasing products such as used car seats.
"It can often be difficult for consumers to determine whether used baby products are safe and with so many ways to purchase second-hand products, it is important for parents to be informed and vigilant when making purchasing decisions," said Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada. "The Great Trade-In event is an opportunity for parents to look at the products they have and trade in old, recalled or dangerous products to make their homes safer."
Manufacturers participating in the Great Trade-In event include Babi Italia, Baby Trend, Bily, Britax, Chanderic, Chicco, Combi, Cosco, Delta, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Quinny, Safety 1st and Safety 1st LUX. Event participants can save 20 per cent on the purchase of a new crib, stroller, car seat or travel system from any of the aforementioned manufacturers at Babies"R"Us and Toys"R"Us stores nationwide on the day they trade in their used item.