After your infant is discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit
(NICU), you may need to take special precautions for car travel.
In most cases
the safest way for a healthy premature infant to travel is by car seat.footnote 1 But some premature
infants cannot sit in a car seat without slouching over, which interferes with their
breathing and oxygen supply. Before discharging your infant from the hospital, the
NICU staff will monitor for breathing and oxygen problems while your infant sits in
your car seat. If he or she "fails" the car seat test, a car bed will be needed for
transport until your infant is stronger. Many hospitals have car beds available to
rent or lend.
If your infant is sent home with oxygen, a monitor, or other supportive
technology, secure the equipment under a vehicle seat or on the floor during travel.
MJ, et al. (2009). Safe transportation of preterm and low birth weight infants at
hospital discharge. Pediatrics, 123(5): 1424-1429.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
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