The law requires that you bring your baby home from the hospital in an infant car safety seat. But the federal governmentís standard for car seat safety has no minimum weight limit. It also does not take into account some of the special needs of your preterm or low-birthweight infant.
Fortunately, a 2009 clinical report provides helpful tips for selecting and safely using car safety seats for small infants. The report was prepared by the American Academy of Pediatricsí Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention and Committee on Fetus and Newborn. It was published in the May 2009 issue of the medical journal Pediatrics.
Choosing a Car Seat
Placing Your Infant in the Car Seat
More Important Information
Preterm and low-birthweight infants in car safety seats have a higher chance of slowed breathing or heart rate. Because of that, your NICU staff may suggest they watch your preterm infant in his car safety seat for 90 to 120 minutes. They may watch your infant even longer if your travel home after discharge is more than 2 hours.
NICU staff may also provide instructions about how best to place your infant in the car safety seat. This will help reduce your infantís risk of breathing and heart trouble while in her car safety seat.
Your infantís safety is always important to you. And now you have some help on keeping your preemie safe when traveling in your car.
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© 2009 March of Dimes Foundation. All rights reserved. The March of Dimes is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.