car seat study


what is your protocol for car seat study? how long do you usually keep the baby in the car seat? while doing the test, do you apply any kind of material, cloth or towel rolls if the baby seem to be very small for the car seat?

then, when the baby goes home, you will not allow the parents to put anything on the sides or back to act as a support in the same manner while you were conducting the car seat test? or should the baby be positioned the same as the way you did the study with all the paraphernalias that supported him?

one of my co-staff asked me to placed some kind of support to keep the baby's head up and straight and with the pulse probe attached to his leg while doing the study prior to discharge. eventually the baby passed the test for 45 mins. however, the baby was sent home on the car seat without any material to support his head, am afraid that something might happen to the baby on his way home. did i do it right or not?

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research. Has 30 years experience.

We require a car seat test for all infant

Some of the basics though are that we can only use positioners that come with the car seat, nothing bought separately. Rationale being the manufacturer tested "their" positioners with the specific car seat. We also have specific measurements for the distance between the car seat shoulder straps and the seat area and from the seat area to the between leg straps. If the seat doesn't meet those measurements then we are to pad the seat with rolled baby blankets. Also use them to position the infant's head if the infant is having trouble with that. If we need to use blanket rolls we are to teach the parents how to do it and they would go home that way. Our tests are 90 minutes long on regular monitor plus pulse oximeter. I think our tests are longer because we are a referral center and many of our families live very far away.

If the infant fails the first test (A+B's or desat not quickly resolved) then they can be retested one more time. If they fail twice then they have to go home in a car bed.


4 Posts

Hi :

We do car seat tests on any infant under 37 weeks or if they have poor muscle tone. The test is 1 hr long and they are on the montior with a pulse ox.

If they fail the test as demonstrated by A's and B's we repeat the test the next day, we have a sheet to record their V.S every 15 mins.We do use rolls if necessary. If they fail, they need to go home in a car bed and be followed by their Dr.


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