Family health

Buying a Used Car Seat

Tips to consider if using a second-hand car seat

Our experts strongly encourage parents to buy a new car seat. But if you are considering a used one, here are some tips:

• Look for a National Safety Mark sticker showing the seat is Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) approved. This is a must in Canada.

• Make sure the instruction manual is included so you can be sure you’re installing it properly.

• All labels — the manufacturer’s name, date of manufacture, model name and number and expiry date — should be attached and easy to read.

• Find out the car seat’s history. If it has ever been in a collision, it’s not safe to use.

• Check the expiry date, and if it’s past due don’t use it. Never use a car seat older than 10 years.

• Check for recall listings or public notices on the model by calling Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or going to

• Ensure everything is in good condition. Look for frayed harness straps or cracks in the plastic.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.