A Portable Car Seat for Preemies: Infant Car Seats May Not be Safe
A portable car seat or infant seat may endanger premature infants. Childrens car seats are a lifesaver so what is this all about?
A hospital in England is doing research on the effect of infant car seats on premature babies.
Car Seats and Respiratory Problems?
It’s long been suspected that putting tiny ones in up and down positions for an extended period of time can cause respiratory problems. Even reclining positions may result in problems in breathing for preemies.
Most Portable car seats or infant car seats are designed to be rear facing from the weight of 5 pounds to around 25 pounds depending on the seat. However many seats are made to accommodate larger children also and just aren’t that snug for little ones.
Convertible seats are also rear facing from 5 pounds to around 25-40 pounds and then turned to face the front. The best convertible seats are designed well but are even larger and often make for an even poorer fit for tiny infants.
How the Research Will be Done
The research in England will be based on putting babies into a device which is similar to childrens car seats. Researchers, which include the hospital’s doctors, will record the heart rate of the babies being tested.
Oxygen levels will also be watched closely as this is one of the major problems with car seats and babies. A healthy baby should have an oxygen level of around 95%. If levels drop 10% below this norm, problems arise.
Pediatricians involved in the research believe that important questions about car seats and babies will be answered. The rate of a very small infants breathing and the effect of childrens car seats should be determined once and for all.
Pediatricians Want Questions Answered
Pediatricians at the hospital released a statement saying that they feel infant car seats are essential but have doubts about leaving tiny infants in a portable car seat for an extended length of time.
Twenty premature babies from nearby areas are involved in the study. Twenty normal full term babies will also be monitored.
The purpose of this test is not to make recommendations. It is being done to find out if there is a connection with breathing problems and car seats.
Alternatives to Regular Car Seats May Have to be Found for Preemies
If an obvious connection is found, undoubtedly more comprehensive research will be done to find an alternative to regular car seats. There are car seat beds available which allow tiny ones to lay down while traveling.
The best answer for now is a snug seat in which a premature or very tiny baby won’t slouch or be bent over. A seat that reclines is also a plus.
The Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat
The Chicco Keyfit infant car seat is designed for use for infants from 4-22 pounds and provides a snug fit. I’ve done a review on this seat here.
Another seat with good user reviews is the Britax Chaperone. The Chaperone will fit babies from the weight of 4-30 pounds in the rear facing position. Click here to learn more about the Britax Chaperone.
Hopefully the results of the English tests will be known soon and a seat developed for tiny infants if necessary.
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