Posts Tagged ‘infant car seat’

Choosing a car seat for your premature baby

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

This is an exciting moment! Your baby has been discharge from the newborn intensive care unit (also called, NICU) and is ready to go home.

Now you need to make sure your baby gets home safe. The law requires that you use an infant car seat when transporting your baby home from the hospital. However, the federal government’s standard for car seat safety has no minimum weight limit nor does it account for the special needs of a premature baby.

Learn about how to keep your baby safe while riding in his car seat before your baby is discharged from the hospital. Here are few tips that may be of help.

Look for these specific guidelines for car seat safety for premature babies or low-birthweight baby:

  • The car seat needs to have a three point harness system. Convertible car seats with a five-point harness system are also good.
  • Don’t pick a car 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. Premature babies have weaker breathing airways, be extra cautious with this.
  • A car 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. This helps prevent your baby from slipping forward feet first under the harness. You can also place a rolled diaper or blanket between the crotch strap and your infant to prevent slipping.
  • Car 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 seat with harness straps that can be placed at or below your infant’s shoulders.

How to place your baby in the car seat

  • Place your baby rear-facing. Keep your baby rear-facing until she reaches the highest weight and height allowed by its manufacturer.
  • Place your baby’s buttocks and back flat against the seat back. The harness should be snug, with the car seat’s retainer clip halfway between your baby’s neck and stomach. The clip should not be on his belly or in front of his neck.
  • Use only the head-support system that comes with your car safety seat. Avoid any head supports that are sold separately. If your baby is very small and needs more support for her head and body, then place blanket rolls on both sides of your baby.

Other safety tips

  • Recline a rear-facing car seat at about 45 degrees or as directed by the instructions that came with the seat. If your baby’s head still falls forward, place a tightly rolled blanket or pool “noodle” under the car seat.
  • Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat of any vehicle.
  • Remember, the back seat is the safest place for all children to travel while in a car.
  • Whenever possible, have an adult seated in the rear seat near the baby in the car seat. If a second caregiver is not available, know that you may need to safely stop your car to assist your baby, especially if a monitor alarm has sounded.
  • Never leave your baby unattended in a car seat, either inside or out of a car.
  • Avoid leaving your baby in car seats for long periods of time to lessen the chance of breathing trouble. It’s best to use the car seat only for travel in your car.

For more information visit Car Safety Seats tips for parents of preemies.

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 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.

Buying baby furniture

Friday, May 7th, 2010

bassinetSo many of my girlfriends are pregnant and everyone’s excited! One of my friends and her husband are in the process of turning their spare bedroom into a baby room. They’ve been clearing out the extra furniture and are ready to buy some new baby furniture. If you’re in the market for new baby furniture, it’s important to pick something that not only looks good, but is safe.

Cribs, for example, are an essential purchase. Baby is going to be spending lots of time getting her zzzz’s, so it’s important her sleeping area is safe. In the last year, there have been many recalls on drop side cribs (cribs with sides that go down).  Another recall was just issued yesterday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) because the drop side can become loose, leaving baby to be stuck between the mattress and the drop side. This can cause baby to suffocate. When buying a crib, try for one with sides that don’t move. They’re more stable than drop side cribs.

If you’re looking at car seats, try to buy a new one if you can. That way, you’re sure that it’s never been in a car crash. You also want to look for a model with a five-point harness (two shoulder straps, two leg straps, and one crotch strap). It’s the safest for baby.

To learn more about buying other safe baby products (like play yards, strollers, bathtubs and more) read our Safety for Baby articles.

Shopping cart safety

Monday, March 1st, 2010

21025139_thm1Grocery shopping has become somewhat of a recreational activity these days. It’s a place to go. I get to see other adults and read the cover of magazines while checking-out. My daughter enjoys sitting high-up in the shopping cart while shaking a box of pasta and smiling at the other shoppers. I have one of those quilted shopping cart covers, so she’s kept cozy and clean. I’ve always noticed other women resting their infant car seats on the handle and back-rest of the grocery cart, but never thought anything about it.  However, I just came across some interesting info and thought it was important to share.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in 2005, more than 24,000 children were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for shopping cart-related injuries. Most of these injuries occurred when a child fell from a shopping cart, the cart tipped over, the child became entrapped in the cart, or the child fell while riding on the outside of the cart.

The AAP suggests that parents who choose to place a child in a shopping cart should never:
• Leave a child alone in a shopping cart.
• Allow a child to stand-up in a shopping cart.
• Place an infant carrier on top of the shopping cart.
• Allow a child to ride in the basket.
• Allow a child to ride on the outside of a cart.
• Allow an older child to climb on the cart or push the cart with another child inside.