Posts Tagged ‘car seat’

Getting ready for discharge from the NICU

Monday, July 31st, 2017

In general, your premature baby will be ready to go home around her due date. But your baby will have to reach certain milestones first. Her vital signsPreemie going home–temperature, breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure–must be consistently normal. This means that your baby:

  • Keeps herself warm
  • Sleeps in a crib, not an incubator
  • Weighs about 4 pounds or more
  • Has learned to breast- or bottle-feed
  • Breathes on her own

What can you do to get ready?

Make sure you talk to your baby’s health care provider and the NICU staff about caring for your baby at home. Here are some things to think about:

  • Do you have everything you need at home to take care of your baby? Do you have medicine and equipment your baby needs? Do you know how to give your baby medicine and use the equipment?
  • Are there any videos, classes, booklets or apps that may help you learn how to take care of your baby at home? Ask about taking a CPR class prior to bringing your baby home—knowing what to do in an emergency may make you feel more comfortable.
  • What do you want discharge day to be like? Do you want family or friends to be there when you and your baby get home? Or do you want it to be just you and your partner with your baby?

Many hospitals let parents “room in” with their baby for a night or two before going home. This can be a good way to practice taking care of your baby on your own while the NICU staff is still right there to help.

Car seat

You will be required to have a car seat before you leave the hospital. Preterm and low-birthweight infants have a higher chance of slowed breathing or heart rate while in a car seat. So your baby may need a “car seat test” before being discharged. The NICU staff will monitor your baby’s heart rate and breathing while she is in her car seat for 90 to 120 minutes. They may watch your baby even longer if your travel home is more than 2 hours.

Follow-up care

Make sure you have chosen a health care provider for your baby. You can choose a:

  • Pediatrician. This is a doctor who has special training to take care of babies and children.
  • Family practice doctor. This is a doctor who provides care for every member of a family.
  • Nurse practitioner. This is a registered nurse with advanced medical education and training.

If your baby has special medical needs, you may also need a provider who specializes in that condition. The NICU staff, hospital social worker or your baby’s general care provider can help you find someone.

Have questions? Send them AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Car seat recall

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

minivanBritax is recalling over 200,000 child car seats regarding concerns about the harness adjuster buttons.  According to the company’s website “certain ClickTight model convertible car seats may contain a defect with the harness adjuster button, which would pose a safety hazard. The harness adjuster button may remain down in the ‘release’ position after the harness is tightened. This will enable the shoulder harnesses to loosen from a child’s movements while secured in the seat. A loose harness may not adequately protect a child in the event of a motor vehicle crash.”

The voluntary safety recall includes certain Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Marathon ClickTight model convertible car seats manufactured between August 1, 2014 – July 29, 2015 with the following US model numbers: E9LT95Q, E9LT95Z, E9LT95N, E1A025Q, E9LT86F, E1A135Q, E9LT86G, E9LT85Q, E9LT86A, E9LT86H, E9LT85S, E1A015Q, E1A016A, E1A016H, E1A166F, E9LT87J, E1A116L, E9LT76P, E9LT71Q, E9LT76N, E9LT76B, E9LT75R, E9LT76L, E1A006B, E1A005R.

Britax is automatically mailing a free remedy kit to all registered owners of the recalled car seats within 7-10 business days of the announcement. The remedy kit includes one (1) non-toxic food-grade lubricant, a label indicating that the remedy has been completed, as well as an instruction sheet for applying the lubricant to the harness adjuster button (red).

Owners can confirm if their product is included in the recall by visiting www.BritaxClickTightConvertibleRecall.com or by verifying the model number and date of manufacture.

Questions? Text or email them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Does your baby have the right car seat?

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

rear-facing car seatFinding the right car seat can be a challenge. There are so many different kinds and sizes, how do you know which car seat is right for your child’s age and weight? What should you do if you have a baby born prematurely? This guide can help:

Step 1: Find the right car seat

• Should you get a rear facing car seat? Forward facing? Booster seat? Click here to learn the kind you need as your child grows. This handy visual guide is also helpful; just click on each box for details.
• Next, find a car seat based on your child’s height and weight.
• Car seats are also rated on ease of use. This info may be helpful to narrow down the kind of seat to buy.

Step 2: Correctly install your car seat

A car seat that is not installed correctly can be hazardous to your child.

• Learn proper car seat installation based on the kind of seat you have.
• Click here to learn about the inch test and pinch test – two simple ways to see if the seat is installed properly.
• And, did you know child seat safety inspectors can check your child’s car seat to make sure it is safely installed? (I didn’t!) Check it out.

Step 3: Register your car seat

• You can receive updates and notices about possible recalls by registering your car seat. Here’s how.

Preemies and tiny babies

If you have a premature or low birth weight baby, take time to read these special recommendations and our blog post on tips for tiny babies.

The right car seat, installed and used correctly is a MUST to keep your child safe.

Seat check Saturday is Sept. 20

Friday, September 19th, 2014

car-seat-2September 20 is National Seat Check Saturday. Certified technicians will perform car seat checks and installations at sites throughout the country. There will be car seat inspection sites throughout the country with trained and certified technicians performing car seat checks and installations.

Installing a car seat correctly may be one of the most frustrating aspects of parenthood. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of patience. And then, just as you are getting the hang of it, they outgrow one seat and have to move on to another! Of course, it is very important that your child travel in a car seat that is appropriate for her age, weight, and height and that it is installed in your car correctly. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

Seat Check Saturday will give you the opportunity to get your car seat installed and inspected by trained technicians. Most inspections sites are free but do require an appointment. You can find a site near you here.

You can also take a look at this car seat check list to make sure your seat is installed correctly. And if you have had a premature baby, take the time to read these special tips.

Graco® adds 1.9 million infant car seats to recall

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A few months ago, Graco recalled about 4 million toddler convertible car and booster seats because of a problem with the seat belt buckles. Now, Graco is including another 1.9 million infant car seats with the same buckle problem to the recall.

The belt buckle on the car seat can get sticky and hard to release when food or dried liquid gets into the buckle. This makes it difficult to unbuckle a child from her car seat. Some parents said they had to cut the car seat straps to get their child out of the car seat. My child uses one of the recalled car seats and I, too, have had trouble unbuckling her from time to time.

The recall now includes Graco’s infant car seats made between 2010 and 2013. The models include:

• SnugRide
• SnugRide Classic
• SnugRide 30
• SnugRide Classic Connect 30
• SnugRide 35
• SnugRide Classic Connect 35
• SnugRide Click Connect 40
• Aprica A30

If your child uses one of the recalled car seats, you can order a free replacement buckle online. I used the online order form and it was quick and easy. You also can contact Graco at consumerservices@gracobaby.com or call (800) 345-4109.

For more information about the 2014 Graco car seat recall, visit the Graco website.

Check your car seat for safety

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

car-seat-2Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. Do you know if your child’s car seat is properly installed?

During Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21, 2013) many communities will have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians available to provide free, hands-on, car seat education and inspections. The week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21, when certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available at car seat events across the country to offer advice and instruction.

Click here for a car seat check list to make sure your seat is installed correctly. If you have had a premature baby, take time to read these special recommendations.

Car seat tips for tiny babies

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

car-seat2The law requires that you bring your baby home from the hospital in an infant car safety seat. But the federal government’s 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.

When choosing a car safety seat for your preemie or low-birthweight baby, keep these tips in mind:
• Choose an infant-only car safety seat with a three- or five-point harness system. Convertible car safety seats with a point-point harness system are also good.
• Don’t pick a car safety seat with a shield, abdominal pad or armrest. Your baby might have trouble breathing behind the shield or may hurt his face and neck in a sudden stop or crash.
• A car safety seat with the shortest distance between the crotch strap and the seat back is best. Ideally, pick one with a crotch-to-seat back distance of 5 1/2 inches. That way, your baby won’t slip forward feetfirst under the harness. You can also place a rolled diaper or blanket between the crotch strap and your infant. This will help keep your infant from slipping.
• Car safety seats with multiple harness-strap slots are also good. They offer more choices than other seats and are better for small but growing infants. It’s best to pick a car safety seat with harness straps that can be placed at or below your infant’s shoulders.

Read this important article for information on placing your premature baby in a car seat, recommend safe angles, what to do for head support, etc.

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 before you leave the hospital. They may watch your infant even longer if your travel home after discharge is more than 2 hours. If you have any questions at all, check with your NICU staff.

Car seat installation

Friday, July 29th, 2011

car-seat-installation1When it comes to babies in your Buick, or whatever you drive, backwards is best. Infants under 1 year should always ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of your car. As tempting as it may be at times (Jr. is wailing and turning blue, and you’re only 5 minutes from home and someone else is driving and you’ll get in the back seat, too…) never ride with your child in your lap. Always use a car seat. It’s best to put your baby’s car seat in the middle of the back seat, away from passenger-side airbags.

Here’s a link to some great car seat safety info. If you want to make sure you have installed your seat correctly (and, BTW, most of us don’t), there are child seat safety inspectors available to help! (Who knew?)

When choosing a car safety seat for your preemie or low-birthweight baby, there may be more issues to think about. Keep these tips in mind.

Child seat safety inspectors

Friday, January 28th, 2011

install it properlyWe all know that it’s important to have our children in car seats while driving in the car.  But did you know that, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, nearly three out of four child seats are installed or used incorrectly? Those are seriously unsafe numbers!

Now, I can read and follow directions fairly well, but I’m not as strong as my husband when it comes to tightening belts and straps. He, on the other hand, rarely reads directions – he’s sure he can figure it out on his own. He says, “How hard could it be?” Well, apparently it’s a lot harder to get it right than most of us realize.

The good news is that there are certified child seat safety inspectors out there who will check out our installation technique. I plan to stop at one of these places before my grandchildren visit again. You can find a safety inspector through this handy locator.  It includes locations with bilingual technicians for those of us who are more comfortable speaking Spanish.  Are you one of the 75% of us who hasn’t installed your child seats properly?  Check it out, and read more about child passenger safety here: http://childcarsafety.adcouncil.org/.

Infant car seats – not too safe outside the car

Friday, July 9th, 2010

car-seatA study of car-seat related injuries just released in the journal Pediatrics (2010; 126:352-357) states that people are unaware of potential dangers associated with using their infant car seat outside the car.  Lots of us carry a baby in them and put them in a grocery cart, on a table, chair or the bed, especially when Junior appears to be sound asleep – bad idea.

The study, conducted through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, estimates over 43,500 car-seat related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments between 2003 and 2007.  (That doesn’t include visits to the doctor’s office.)  Roughly 85% of these injuries were related to falls and half of them occurred at home.  84% of the injuries were head injuries, most often as a result of a fall from the car seat, the car seat falling from an elevated surface, or the seat overturning on a soft surface. Since 64% of the injuries occurred to infants under the age of 4 months, it is thought that parents are unaware that their baby can move as much as he can.  An infant’s motor skills are less developed which can give a false sense of security to parents.

The bottom line here is to assume your little guy can and will wiggle more than you think.  Never place him in a car seat on an elevated surface where there is a remote chance of a fall.

And while we’re on the subject of cars, now is the time of year to be extremely vigilant in checking to make sure we don’t accidentally leave a child alone in a car.  Read our previous post on how cars get deadly hot in the summer.