Garage sale consumer safety tips

July 28, 2009 2:59:58 PM PDT
With more people looking for bargains, flea markets and garage sales are really becoming more popular. But how do you know what you're buying is really safe? Here are some important steps parents can take to ensure their finds don't cause harm to their children. "I would never get children's toys and things like that," flea market shopper Patricia France said. "I wouldn't get those kinds of things for my children here."

Some items which have previously been deemed dangerous have popped up for resale on the internet or at flea markets across the country.

"This crib has been recalled, but we were able to buy it on Craiglist for about $40," said Don Mays, Senior Director of Product Safety for Consumer Reports.

The problem with the drop-slide cribs is that the latches wear out, allowing the front to come off or one side to become unattached. That allows an infant to slip between the bars and choke to death.

According to Consumer Reports, five million drop-side cribs have been recalled since 2007. It says there have also been 11 crib-related fatalities.

In addition, the Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends avoiding cribs with missing or loose slats. It also advises staying away from drop-side cribs altogether. The most important tip from the agency: do your homework, and if you unsure, check the CPSC Web site at CPSC.gov.

"When it comes to things like that, I always do my research to make sure that it's safe, you know, for my child especially," said Marilyn Guzman, a flea market shopper.

There are some items at flea markets that look safe and sturdy, but can quickly become a household hazard.

Laws are on the books that make the seller responsible for knowing which items meet safety standards and which do not.

"It is illegal to sell a product that's been recalled," Mays said. "It is illegal to sell a product that violates federal standards."

Still, it's up to the consumer to be aware so they can protect their child's safety.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Nika Beamon


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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