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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Beware of Thrift Store Shopping for Holiday Visits

LAS CRUCES -- With their families arriving for the holidays, grandparents and other relatives may be visiting second-hand stores to stock up on items like cribs and playpens. Shoppers need to be careful about the safety of these purchases, said a child and family life specialist with New Mexico State University.

"I'm very concerned about people buying things at thrift stores, second-hand shops or even rummage sales, because many times things are sold that really don't meet safety regulations," said Diana DelCampo with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is alerting the public that many thrift stores are selling hazardous products that have been recalled, banned or do not meet current safety standards.

Playpens are one of the "big offenders," DelCampo said. "A lot of playpens have been recalled, but they've found their way into second-hand stores," she said. "We want to be sure that if grandparents or relatives are buying these items for a short, holiday visit that they think about whether the items are safe."

Other problem items include children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings that are strangulation hazards and recalled cedar chests, toy basketball sets and bean bag chairs.

The safety commission in distributing a free thrift store checklist that includes information about recalls, bans and current safety standards. Visit the commission's World Wide Web site at www.cpsc.gov for a copy.