Urbini infant car seat and carrier

Buying a Used Car Seat

Updated 7/25/23

Mention a car seat, and you have our attention. We firmly believe that car seats and restraints should always be used for kids who need them.

In Arizona, this includes kids who are:

  • Under five years old
  • Ages five to seven who are 4’9″ tall or less

Children ages eight to 17 must be restrained by shoulder and lap belts. Read more about current Arizona car seat and restraint laws.

Are Used Car Seats Safe to Use?

Graco infant car seat carrier with boxMany people will only buy brand-new car seats. We encourage everyone who buys a new or used car seat to adopt our practice of regularly checking the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for car-related recalls. Click on the tab for Car Seats.

We sell used car seats that are not past the expiration date and have satisfied our consignment checks for damage such as rips, tears, holes, cracks, stains, and defects. We make sure all parts are securely in place and work properly, including straps and buckles. We reject combination car seats/infant carriers if the carrying handle is damaged. This has nothing to do with installing the seat, but everything about infant safety. And we reject items that smell or are dirty.

As we’ve said before, if we wouldn’t use it, we wouldn’t let it go to your home (or in this case, your vehicle).

Our consigners are thoughtful people. They know we won’t accept items that don’t look gently used or aren’t clean. They wouldn’t dream of offering us shoddy products. Many have saved instruction pamphlets and registration information with car seats, furniture, strollers, and other durable items they consign with us. These documents include information about proper installation, which can also be found on manufacturer websites.

We check the UPC code and other identification against recalls, using the USCPSC website. We do this with furniture, strollers, and toys as well.

Who Buys Used Car Seats Anyway?

Many of our customers who buy car seats are grandparents, other relatives, or friends expecting visitors, including a young child. Some parents also buy a car seat from us to have an extra one on hand for emergencies or to transport other children.

If a customer seems uncertain about buying a used car seat, we encourage them to buy a new one. We will never do a “hard sell”  for any item in our store. We don’t want any customer to be less than 100% satisfied with a purchase from AZ Kidz n More.

Make Sure Your Car Seat is Properly Installed

Regardless of where your car seat originates, you must make sure it is properly installed.

Too many people don’t understand how to install a car seat. It isn’t always easy or obvious. NHTSA’s website has a lot of information about different types of car seats and booster seats. We also recommend these videos:

And before you know it, those kids will be in line at the DMV to get a driver’s learning permit!

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HulaFrog Says We’re Still Most Loved in Scottsdale!

Who are we to argue with Hulafrog?

For the third year in a row, Hulafrog named us Most Loved in Scottsdale for Kids Consignment. In 2021, we snared Most Loved for Toy Stores and Book Stores – a first, beating out places like Half Price Books and Old Town Candy and Toys.

Of course, we have our readers to thank for voting for us! (Mayhem’s endorsement helped, too.)


AZ Kids is a Hulafrog pick for the third year in a row
We’re a Hulafrog “Most Loved” for a third year in a row!

For those who aren’t familiar with Hulafrog, it’s a national directory of shops, services, schools, venues, and events that cater to kids and families. You can look for your own state and city here; here’s where you can find your city and state.

Any business can list itself on Hulafrog. Hulafrog turns to members (parents, grandparents) to nominate and vote for Most Loved in each city that’s part of its network. They alert businesses that have been nominated so that they can let customers know about it and vote, too.

It’s important to note that a business does not have to be particularly active on Hulafrog or advertise on the site. Its Most Loved really does reflect customers’ experiences.

So again, a big Thank You to our wonderful customers!


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child in car booster seat

Stay Away From Seat Belt Extenders!

Have you heard about people using seat belt extenders to make it easier for kids to buckle into car seats? If you have, this is one “tip” to ignore.

Seat belt extenders are devices that extend seat belts to let overweight or large passengers buckle in. They are only meant to be used in front seats.

We recently read about people who use these extenders on car seat boosters to make it easier for parents or kids to buckle in. But seat belt extenders won’t properly restrain a kid in a booster seat if there’s a collision.

Seat belt extenders will not properly restrain kids in booster seats if there’s a car crash.

Seat Belts Extenders Interfere With Car Restraints

Booster seats use a vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts to secure kids who’ve outgrown car seats but aren’t tall enough for lap/shoulder belts. Booster seats lift them up to the right height.

As you know, lap and shoulder belts lock, tighten, and restrain drivers and passengers from flying forward during a sudden stop or collision. An extender used on a booster seat, though, adds additional length that “fools” the restraints from properly locking. Even a few inches of extra belt is enough to prevent that crucial lock.

The Car Seat Lady, a pediatrician and car seat safety activist, has written about seat belt extenders. Check out her article, which includes photos of different extenders on the market and tips on how to make it easier to properly buckle kids in booster seats.

This article from The Washington Post is about a boy who suffered a brain injury in a car accident that also killed his father. He was in a booster seat with a seat belt extender that unbuckled during the impact. His mother is suing Ford, which sold the extender for booster seat use. It’s a sad and messy situation. The father didn’t realize the extender only worked in Fords and he drove a Nissan. He apparently didn’t consult the Nissan manual which states not to use seat belt extenders.

Don’t Be Fooled By Seat Belt Extenders

Some parents mistakenly use seat belt extenders as a tool to make it easier to buckle kids in booster seats or help them buckle themselves in. They are marketed for this on Amazon and eBay.

We know booster seats can be a pain. Those darn belt buckles easily fall in between seat cushions, making it hard for a kid to buckle himself in or for a parent to find. The extenders look like they can help by extending that buckle to where it’s easily reached. The problem is that they interfere with lap and shoulder belts that restrain your little passenger.

You may come across extenders that say they work with child safety restraints. If you’re considering them (and we don’t think you should), check your car owner’s manual to see if they will work in your vehicle. If the manufacturer’s manual says “do not use extenders” take their word for it, even if the booster seat and/or extender is brand-new and claims to work on all vehicles.

We get why people might want to use an extender. It gets really hot in the Phoenix area, and it’s no fun trying to get a cranky/squirmy kid to sit still while you wrestle with an elusive buckle in 110° heat! We know you want your kids to learn how to buckle themselves in. But not all kids have the dexterity to even work a seat belt buckle.

Here’s a Safe Way To Put Car Buckles Within Easy Reach

The Car Seat Lady has a nifty tip to cut off a piece of a pool noodle to securely lift the female end of the seat belt buckle up and out where it’s easily reached – by parents and kids.





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Swimming toddler boy

Swimming Lessons for Kids

It’s been crazily cool lately, especially for May, but we all know the temperature is going to hit triple digits soon.

That means swimsuits and toys will be pulled out as more people take to the water! So let us ask you: have your kids had swimming lessons?

Knowing how to swim is a basic life skill everyone needs to know. And here in Arizona, there are plenty of places where your kids can get swimming lessons from trained professionals, in groups or individually. We found that group lessons were a lot of fun for our kids, but every child is different.

Read on for tips about where to take your kid for swimming lessons.

Your Local Public Pool is a Great Place for Swimming Lessons

We live in Scottsdale which has excellent and affordable swim classes for kids and adults at many of the neighborhood pools. Some of them feature lessons around the year, but they really take off in the summer when every public pool offers swim classes for different levels.

Swimming lesson fees at public pools are very reasonable. If money is tight, contact the Parks and Recreation Department in your town or city and ask them if they provide discounts to families who receive SNAP benefits or for children who receive medical benefits through Medicaid (AHCCCS in Arizona) or SCHIP. And many towns will offer swimming scholarships as well.

The best part about swimming lessons for kids is that the instructors are often high school or college kids and therefore worthy of listening to. They have all these fun games and toys to encourage kids to overcome any fear of swimming underwater. Our kids’ favorite game was What Time is It Mr. Shark?

 It’s Fun to Swim at the YMCA!

Many kids learn to swim at the local Y and as we all know, no place is more fun than the YMCA. Many Y chapters also offer reduced prices and scholarships to families who qualify.

Many Ys also have indoor swimming, so you and your kid(s) can practice swimming skills all year round. Who knows, you might be harboring the next Katie Ledecky or Michael Phelps., who we might add, is one of the swim coaches at Arizona State University. Maybe he’ll stop our store on his way home from work one evening! (He and his wife are expecting their third child this year.)

What’s the Ideal Age to Learn to Swim?

We know lots of people go in the pool with their babies and to us, that’s fine. In fact, many private swim schools have Baby and Me pool time for parents and babies. The idea here is not to teach babies to swim but to them comfortable around water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says four years is the best time to start actual swimming lessons. Before that, most kids won’t retain what they learned or have the functionality to pull together all the movements that add up to swimming.  But even AAP says it’s ok to get them in some kind of “aquatic program” at one year. However, keep in mind that no amount of classes can replace a watchful adult when kids are around the pool.

Mayhem is ready for summer fun!

Give us a call if you’re looking for gently-used kid, toddler, or baby swimwear. We often have a variety this of year, as well as toys for the pool.




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Let’s End the Epidemic of Child Drowning

It’s the saddest news we hear in the Valley every year: a toddler or child drowning. It’s already happened this year: a 3-year old drowned in the family pool in Queen Creek in April.

It’s not that parents aren’t alert. Many do all they can. But just losing sight for a moment, through distraction or a blocked view, is long enough for a child to begin drowning.

So what can you do to prevent accidental drownings?

Child Drowning Can Happen in Any Body of Water

Even a bucket of water is enough to cause a drowning.
Supervise young children playing in or even around water.

Children don’t just drown in pools. Any body of water can potentially drown a small child.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of death among children ages one to four, after death caused by birth defects. While most of these accidents happen in pools, the number of drownings outside pools rises with age, CDC says.

Overall, drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14, after motor vehicle crashes.

Here is Arizona, children, teens, and adults drown in canals, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. (A teenager drowned in Lake Pleasant in March.) But young children have drowned in bathtubs and buckets, in plastic and blow-up pools, and in sinks and toilets.

Watch your child when he’s in the tub and on the toilet. Don’t let him or her use the bathroom or kitchen sink unsupervised. Let the phone ring or text messages buzz: nothing is more important than the safety of your child or the child you’re watching.

If There’s Water, You Need a Barrier to Protect Younger Kids

When there’s water and kids, you need a barrier.

For pools, this means a safety fence required in all Arizona homes with one or more children under age 6. Here’s a link to these requirements. Grandparents would be well-advised to install one in their yards.

What about other bodies of water? You can only put up barriers in places you control. So outside your home, you have to be the barrier or provide one.

Occupy the kids with non-water activities. This means making sure someone is really watching the kid(s). It’s impossible to do this if you’re also setting up food and other events. So plan ahead of time for at least one responsible adult (and that means one who’s abstaining from alcohol) or teenager to watch the little ones and engage in activities with them.

Bring balls, balloons, digging toys—whatever is appropriate to keep kids occupied outside of water—while you’re busy with other tasks.

Life vests can be worn over swimsuits as children learn to swim.
Wearing a life vest can help kids learn to stay afloat.

Buy a life vest for your child. If swimming is part of your plans, get a kid-size life vest for your child. We often have them in our store; we also occasionally get life vests that are part of a swimming outfit.

There are a lot of opinions about floaties. Some kids are motivated by them to learn to swim, which is a necessary life skill. Just be careful that you don’t take them, or lifejackets for that matter, as a substitute for supervising children in water.

Finally, if you really want to enjoy the day and take time off from childcare, hire a sitter. Decide if the sitter and kids should come with you or stay home. There’s no shame in wanting time off to socialize. Raising kids is fun but tiring; all parents need time to relax and recharge.

Preventing Child Drowning Inside the Home

Young children can drown in just small amount of water. Toddlers are especially top-heavy and tend to fall head-first and struggle to get back up from that position.

Bathrooms are rife with potential water dangers. Here are some tips for making them little-kid-safe:

  • Many of us have small steps or stools to help little ones reach the sink to wash their hands. Stay in the bathroom to supervise them during this step; you’re already in there if you’re potty-training. And it’s always good to ensure they know proper hand washing.
  • Put the toilet seat down after each use. Many parents install toilet seat locks to keep it down until it’s needed.

Apparently, toilet locks are difficult to match to brands. This article from Parent Guide recommends multipurpose latches used for cabinets or using two straps.

  • Faucet safety locks are available for the tub as well and can prevent accidental scalding from turning on hot water. It’s also a good idea to adjust the settings on your hot water heater to no higher than 120ºF.
  • Use doorknob covers to close off access to powder rooms, other bathrooms, and laundry rooms. These, too, can be problematic as some kids can still work them while adults struggle. Best Reviews looked at five door knob covers and provides pros and cons.

Outside your home, make sure your empty any buckets after it rains (yes, it will happen, even here!) or seal them with a cover. If you have a plastic pool, be sure to empty it after you’re done using it. (These steps are also essential to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs around your home.)

Above all, make sure someone is really watching the kids around water, or their access to it is blocked. Check out this list from Child Safety Zone to assess the drowning risks in your own personal situation. Knowledge and action can prevent an accidental drowning!

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