Product Recalls and Safety of Used Items

Hundreds of products are recalled by the U.S. federal government each year. If a product is recalled, it must be removed from store shelves, but often recalled products can still be found on the second-hand market or in homes.

If you have a recalled product, carefully follow the government’s instructions, which could require you to stop using it, repair it, or return it for a refund or replacement.

Complete list of recalls

Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for a complete list of product recalls, including household products and appliances not specifically related to children. To register your car seats for automatic recall notices, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other agencies also issue recalls.

To find out about them as they happen, sign up to receive e-mail alerts directly from the federal government’s website.

Safe Kids USA position statement on used children’s products

Key reasons used products can be unsafe

Outdated, damaged or recalled products for children can be hazardous. Not all damage is visible. We share this information from Safe Kids USA position statement on used children’s products.

  • A car seat or bike helmet may have been involved in a crash
  • Typically, car seats must have been manufactured less than six years ago to be considered safe
  • Older, broken or modified cribs are now known to pose suffocation and strangulation hazards to children
  • An item may be missing important parts, warning labels, or user instructions
  • An item may have small parts that are no longer securely fastened, or it can now be easily broken into small parts, creating choking hazards for young children
  • An item may not be labeled with date of manufacture and model number, so you cannot check to see if it has been recalled
  • An item may be cracked or have peeling paint,splinters, or rough edges

For these reasons, it may not be safe to purchase used products for children at flea markets, the Internet, consignment stores or yard sales. Safe Kids USA’s policy is that parents and caregivers should not purchase or use any product with an unknown history or any product that does not comply with current health and safety standards.

Safety tips

  • Always check that a used or hand-me-down product has not been recalled.
  • Find resources for checking recalls (see below).
  • If you have a recalled product, follow the government’s instructions which could be to stop using it, repair it, or return it for a refund or replacement.

A federal law enacted in 2008 established new standards for children’s products. Children’s products that do not meet these standards cannot be sold, including at secondhand stores and resale shops.

Major provisions included in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

  • A ban on children’s products containing more than trace levels of lead
  • A ban on children’s toys or child care articles that contain more than trace levels of certain types of phthalates (plastic softeners)
  • Mandatory testing of children’s products to ensure they comply with safety rules

For more information regarding used products

To keep up with the latest recall information