Advancements in health care have made it possible for many premature infants weighing less than 2.2 kg (5 lb) to be discharged from the hospital. Medical professionals, however, have no information available from which to make recommendations on which child safety seats are most appropriate for safely transporting the low-birth-weight infant. Current federal safety standards do not specify the minimum weight of an infant for which a seat is appropriate. The suitability of various types of infant car safety seats for premature infants was documented by placing 2.0-kg (4 lb 8 oz) babies in a representative sample of seat models. Ease and ability of the seat to fit the size of the infant and allow for proper positioning of the baby was noted. Each seat was measured from the seat back to crotch strap and shoulder strap to seat bottom to provide a basis for comparison of various seat models. Convertible seats with seat back to crotch strap height of 14 cm (5½ in) or less provided relatively good support for the infant. Seats with longer seat back to crotch strap distances allowed the infant to slouch. Seats with lap pads or shields were uniformly unacceptable.

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