Car seat safety: literature review

Neonatal Netw. Mar-Apr 2005;24(2):29-31. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.24.2.29.


After staggering numbers of infants were killed in automotive crashes in the 1970s, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended in 1974 universal use of car seats for all infants. However, positional problems were reported when car seats are used with premature infants less than 37 weeks gestational age as a result of head slouching and its sequelae. In 1990, the AAP responded with another policy statement introducing car seat testing. It recommended that any infant at or under 37 weeks gestational age be observed in a car seat prior to discharge from the hospital. The AAP did not give specific guidelines on type of car seat, length of testing, equipment, or personnel proficiency, however. Few nurseries have standard policies to evaluate car seats, to teach parents about car seats, or to position newborns in them, and not all hospitals actually conduct car seat challenges or have common standards for testing that is performed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Automobiles*
  • Humans
  • Infant Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / prevention & control
  • Safety*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control