Car seat or car bed for very low birth weight infants at discharge home

J Pediatr. 2007 Mar;150(3):224-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.10.068.


Objective: To compare the incidence of apnea, bradycardia, or desaturation in a car seat with that in a car bed for preterm very low birth weight (< or = 1500 g) infants.

Study design: Infants were studied for 120 minutes in a car seat and in a car bed. Apnea (> 20 seconds), bradycardia (heart rate < 80/min for > 5 seconds), desaturation (SpO2 < 88% for > 10 seconds), and absent nasal flow were monitored.

Results: We assessed 151 infants (median birth weight, 1120 g [range, 437 to 3105]; median birth gestational age, 29 weeks [24 to 34]) in both devices. Twenty-three infants (15%) had > or = 1 event in the car seat compared with 29 (19%) in the car bed (P = .4). Time to first event was similar in the car seat and car bed (mean, 54 to 55 minutes). In logistic regression analyses, bronchopulmonary dysplasia was a significant predictor for a car seat event and a lower gestational age at birth was a risk factor for a car bed event.

Conclusions: We found no evidence that an event is less likely in a car bed than in a car seat. Whichever device is used, very low birth weight infants require observation during travel.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Automobile Driving
  • Beds*
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Equipment*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric