Objectives: To determine how frequently seating devices are available in homes with small infants and how often they are used for infants who are too young to sit erect and unsupported.
Design: Observational study using a questionnaire administered to a cohort of parents of well infants younger than 5 months.
Setting: Well-Baby Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, Tripler Army Medical Center, a tertiary care center serving the population of military dependents on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
Results: Infant seating devices were available in the homes of all of the infants whose parents completed the questionnaire during the study. Of 187 infants, 176 (94%) spent 30 minutes or longer in seating devices each day. The mean (tSD) time spent each day in seating devices was 5.7 +/- 3.5 hours and ranged from 0 to 16 hours.
Conclusions: Seating devices were widely available for use in the care of the infants. Car seats that double as infant carriers and infant seats likely are being used extensively outside of automobiles. Prolonged use of infant seating devices with infants who are too young to sit unsupported may have several potential adverse consequences.