Question about car seat policy

  1. I was just reading the thread about patients not bringing their own camera, which then spun off about pts also not having a car seat.

    What is your hospital's policy regarding the parents having a carseat for the baby? Does the baby have to be in an infant carseat while exiting the hospital? What if the parents have a convertible carseat (the kind that does not have a handle or a base, but rather, it's a bigger seat that stays in the car). I had my last 2 babies at home, and only my first in the hospital and I remember having to have her in her infant seat on my lap as I was wheeled out of the hospital.
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    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 46; Likes: 1


  3. by   maryloufu
    At our hospital we have to bring the carseat up to the floor so that the nurse can verify that it is still safe and then she goes down to make sure that it gets put into the car right.
    I would think the convertible car seat would be fine if it is in the right way (facing backward).
  4. by   33-weeker
    The ideal is to have/check the seat, but when the rubber meets the road as they say, I don't think we can legally stop parents from taking their baby home. Just like until CPS puts the papers on the chart showing they have taken custody, we can't stop the mom if she leaves with her baby. We just alert the proper authorities and let them take care of the rest.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Someone takes the mom out in a w/c and checks that the baby goes in an approved carseat. We are a small rural hospital though and this is possible where I work.

    When I had my son in the big city hospital, I think we brought the car seat upstairs to the post-partum ward and someone looked at it. We went down to the parking lot with a transport person.

  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    New York State mandates that the child not be released unless the seat is in the car and properly installed. Every facility that has an L&D dep't has someone certified to inspect.
  7. by   JaneyW
    We are more hands off--probably to avoid liability. The parents must sign a document verifying that they know the state's car seat law, but we have no policy regarding checking if they have one, etc. CA law is pretty strict and the fines are high--I make sure they know that. A lot of the population we serve has gone to classes to earn free car seats.
  8. by   BittyBabyGrower
    We have the parents bring in the carseat and we have THEM put the baby in and adjust the straps. We tell them the law, but we cannot hold up a discharge if the parents do not bring in a carseat. We also do not walk them downstairs, we just have them put the baby in the carseat, we chart that the baby is secured in one and we send them on their way (this is in NICU and the peds floors, NBN still wheels mom and baby down).
  9. by   firstaiddave907
    Quote from Suesquatch
    New York State mandates that the child not be released unless the seat is in the car and properly installed. Every facility that has an L&D dep't has someone certified to inspect.
    Thats a very good polcy .
  10. by   KimSwanner
    I have had two children. The first was in TN and it was at that time (in 2002) law from what I was told that they had to be taken from the hospital room to the car in a infant seat and that the hospital has to inspect to make sure the child was secured in the vehicle before we were able to leave. And then my youngest was born in 2005 in Mississippi. At that hospital I was able to hold her on the way to the car, but choose not to. It was rainy and cold and was easier to have her already bundled up. But at the hospital it was required that a seat be in place before we were able to leave. In TN they did a good check on the seat to make sure it was correctly buckled in, but in MS she just wheeled us to the truck and waited for us to get our things in before she left. She didn't check anything other than the fact that we had the seat. Makes you think.
  11. by   CEG
    Quote from Suesquatch
    New York State mandates that the child not be released unless the seat is in the car and properly installed. Every facility that has an L&D dep't has someone certified to inspect.
    I had my kids in New York. With the first the nurse sort of halheartedly walked behind us out to the car and then went to smoke. With the second they didn't even come down to check if we had a car seat. I guess that facility was lazy about enforcement.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Hmm - my 6 week old grandson was discharged on Saturday and they walked down with us and that was it - not to the car, but to the door of the facility.

    Personally, I think its the parents responsibility, not the hospital's to ensure the child is safely in a carseat. I would be highly offended if someone came out to the care to "check" to see if the carseat was installed properly. However, that probably comes from being a nasty old grandmother - lol.
  13. by   MemphisOBRNC
    Since each state has different practices and community standards, it would help to know from what state the question and answers come from. I am in Tennessee. At my hospital, we ask if they have a car seat upon admission and have them sign a copy of the law. If they do not have a seat, we cannot keep the baby from leaving. We have been told that it could be considered kidnapping since we would be holding the child against the parent's wishes.

    Tennessee used to furnish hospitals money so that carseats could be bought and given to families without one. That practice stopped due to liability. Say we bought a car seat this year and it was eventually recalled for some reason. If we didn't know about the recall and sent a baby home in it and something happened, guess who is responsible. We also are not allowed to put the baby in the seat or put the seat in the car for the same reason.
  14. by   JVanRN
    We tell the parents to leave the carseat in the car and they are responsible for securing the child. I suppose due to liability. If I see the parents making obvious mistakes I help out though. It would be great if we had a person that was car seat certified to inspect, but I don't really think that should be the nurses responsibility. There are to many different carseats and recalls to keep up with it all.

    I mean the nurse is responsible to a point. Like I said I WILL help and say something if the parent is doing something obviously wrong and I will give general pointers, but I can't be expected to know how to properly install every and any kind of carseat out there. We've had parents that have brought uninstalled carseats and expected us to do it. At some point these parents have a responsibility to thier child to make sure this is done.