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 infantto 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.
Bull MJ, et al. (2009). Safe transportation of preterm and low birth weight infants at hospital discharge. Pediatrics, 123(5): 1424-1429.
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