Safety & Preparedness

Are there special car seat needs for premature infants?

A Answers (2)

  • A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Premature infants should be tested while still in the hospital to make sure they can ride safely in a reclined position.  Babies who need to lie flat during travel should ride in a crash-tested car bed.  Very small infants who can ride safely in a reclined position usually fit better in infant-only seats; however, if you need to use a convertible seat, choose one without a tray-shield harness.  The shields often are too big and too far from the body to fit correctly and the child's face could hit the shield in a crash.
  • A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Very small or sick babies have special considerations when being fitted in a car seat (or a car bed). The following are general guidelines. You’ll receive more detailed instructions from your providers:
    • Before you buy: Before you buy a car seat, make sure it’s suitable for a smaller baby. Don’t buy a used car seat, and make sure the one you’re using is less than 6 years old.
    • Before you leave the hospital: Bring the car seat to the NICU so the staff can examine the design and condition of the car seat and make sure it fits. The staff will also give your baby a car-seat trial to make sure she can tolerate being in the car seat. During the car-seat trial, staff will put your baby in the car seat for at least 90 minutes and monitor her heart rate and breathing.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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