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Premature Infant: Safe Travel With Your Baby

Topic Overview

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.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.

For more information about car seats, see the topic Child Car Seats.

Related Information

References

Citations

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

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised April 14, 2011

Last Revised: April 14, 2011

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