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  1. #1
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    Info on car seat challenge?

    I'm trying to find a resource that I can share with twin mom's about the car seat challenge that they do at the hospitals, especially with preemies. I was just looking for something that explained what a car seat challenge is - what to expert, what they are looking for etc.

    This is the best link I founds so far... http://www.articleclick.com/Article/...llenge-/949782

    Does anyone know of a better link? If so, please share It seems like many of the links I'm finding are technical and are written for medical personnel who would do the test. I want to find something that is written towards parents.

    Melanie

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician ShumNum's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    In short: sitting at the 45 degree angle of a car seat (and buckled in) is a somewhat stressful experience for a preemie.
    When buckled into the seat, some preemies will experience bradycardia (slowing heart rate), apnea (stopping breathing), and/or desaturations (decrease of oxygen level in the blood stream). So during the car seat test, we make sure they don't have any of those issues.
    The baby must be buckled into the seat for a minimum of the expected duration of the car ride home, to make sure they tolerate being in their seat.
    Does that help??

  4. #3
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    Shumnum -

    It helps a lot! Thanks! Is it okay if I use most of your words for the information I'm putting together? It's for a website under development (www.fresnomultiples.org). This is what I wrote about the car seat challenge and car seat beds...

    If your babies are born early or have any issues with breathing, your babies may undergo a car seat challenge at the hospital. When preemies are placed at the 45 degree angle and buckled into the car seat, some premature infants will experience bradycardia (slowing heart rate), apnea (stopping breathing), and/or desaturations (decrease of oxygen level in the blood stream). A car seat challenge specifically checks for these issues to see if you can safely transport your baby or babies home. Babies who do not pass the car seat challenge may need an infant car bed to be released. These car beds may be available from the hospital or may be purchased online.

    Melanie

  5. #4
    CPS Technician ShumNum's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    I think that sounds good!

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy Sceason1972's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    "If your babies are born early or have any issues with breathing,"

    FYI - I think any baby leaving the NICU does a car seat challenge - regardless of the reason for being in the NICU. Our friend's ft son had to do ti and he was inf or an infection.

    The challenge itself is that the baby is properly retained into their seat while hooked to the monitors and must go for 45 minutes (or longer if they live far form the hospital) without any breathing or heart rate issues. At our NICU step one of the challenge was to have a parent (my dh in our case) read the seat's manual and become very familiar with how to use the seat.

  7. #6
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sceason1972 View Post
    "If your babies are born early or have any issues with breathing,"

    FYI - I think any baby leaving the NICU does a car seat challenge - regardless of the reason for being in the NICU. Our friend's ft son had to do ti and he was inf or an infection.

    The challenge itself is that the baby is properly retained into their seat while hooked to the monitors and must go for 45 minutes (or longer if they live far form the hospital) without any breathing or heart rate issues. At our NICU step one of the challenge was to have a parent (my dh in our case) read the seat's manual and become very familiar with how to use the seat.
    This is the same at the hospital ds was in. Any parent having a preemie should pretty much count on having to do the carseat challenge.

    One thing that I would add is that some car seats fit small newborns and preemies better than others, so if they are expecting a preemie to consider buying a seat such as the Keyfit from the start if possible.

    Also, there can be some variance between hospitals as to exactly how long the challenge lasts and at what point in time it's done. I would think that they should be able to get more information on their hospital's policy from whoever is providing them info about what to expect at the hospital.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
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    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  8. #7
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    Just FYI, not the same in all hospitals. WHere I had my last baby, the car seat challenge was done on any baby born under 37 weeks. Mine was born at 37 weeks 3 days, so didn't need the challenge even though he was in NICU for a week (sugar problems).
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  9. #8
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    Thanks everyone! It's interesting to hear the different experiences. I've included information about premies needing smaller seat in one section and put information about which seats fit preemies/small babies well.

    Is the car seat challenge new?

    My twins were born at 33w6d and spent 11 days in a level 1 hospital nursery January 6, 2005 (4 years ago), but my twins never had to do the car seat challenge. It wasn't considered a NICU and I'm wondering if that might be the difference.

    My preemies came home weighing just over 4lbs and just over 5lbs. We had the Baby Trend Latch Loc seats which ended up fitting them well. Our last u/s 3 days before they were born showed that they were both well over 5lbs so we weren't worried about needing a lower limit car seat - and no one in the hospital told us that was important. I'm not sure even what the options were 4 years ago.

    Melanie

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
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    Re: Info on car seat challenge?

    My older DD was born at 34w2d in late 2001, spent 18 days as a feeder-grower in a kind-of-level III NICU, and did not have a car seat challenge before coming home. I had read about the possibility, though, so it was certainly done at that time. She was never given any supplemental O2, and at the time I wondered if that was related to not doing the car seat challenge.
    Homeschooling mama to safely transported kids-
    DD1- 11/2001 - 61.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)
    DD2- 11/2004 - 62.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)

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