There are many things to know when trying to find a car seat for your infant to use after being discharged from the NICU at Arkansas Children's. Learn more about how to keep your child safe using the information below.
Some car seats are safety rated for smaller infants (less than 5 lbs), and fit many preemies well. This kind of car seat can be easy to use and easy to carry.
Look for these features:
Most babies can ride safely in a semi-reclined, rear-facing car seat with low harness slots. However, some premature babies may show signs of trouble when sitting up.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends monitoring each baby born earlier than 37 weeks in a car seat before the baby goes home. The monitoring is called Angle Tolerance Testing. This is to check for signs of trouble, such as slow heartbeat, too little oxygen in the blood, or periods of not breathing. If your baby shows any of these signs, he or she may need to ride lying flat in a crash-tested car bed. Use the car bed until the doctor tells you your baby can sit up safely. Also, avoid using a baby seat or swing at home during this time.
The Angle Tolerance Testing is done within 7 days of infant going home. The infant is placed in the actual car seat that will be used after going home. The baby is monitored for a minimum of 90 minutes or the length of the car ride home, whichever is longer, for changes in heart rate, oxygen level and breathing.