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Is the infant car seat challenge useful? A pilot study in a simulated moving vehicle

Arya, Renu, Williams, Georgina, Kilonback, Anna, Toward, Martin, Griffin, Michael, Blair, Peter S. and Fleming, Peter (2017) Is the infant car seat challenge useful? A pilot study in a simulated moving vehicle Archives of Disease in Childhood, 102, (2), F136-F141.

Record type: Article


Background and objective The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preterm infants complete a predischarge 'car seat challenge' observation for cardiorespiratory compromise while in a car seat. This static challenge does not consider the more upright position in a car or the vibration of the seat when the car is moving. This pilot study was designed to assess the cardiorespiratory effects of vibration, mimicking the effect of being in a moving car, on preterm and term infants.

Methods A simulator was designed to reproduce vertical vibration similar to that in a rear-facing car seat at 30 mph. 19 healthy newborn term and 21 preterm infants, ready for hospital discharge, underwent cardiorespiratory measurements while lying flat in a cot (baseline), static in the seat (30°), simulator (40°) and during motion (vibration 40°).

Results Median test age was 13 days (range 1-65 days) and median weight was 2.5 kg (IQR: 2.1-3.1 kg). Compared with baseline observations, only the total number of desaturations was significantly increased when infants were placed at 30° (p=0.03). At 40°, or with vibration, respiratory and heart rates increased and oxygen saturation decreased significantly. Profound desaturations <85% significantly increased during motion, regardless of gestational age.

Conclusions This is the first study to assess the effect of motion on infants seated in a car safety seat. Term and preterm infants showed significant signs of potentially adverse cardiorespiratory effects in the upright position at 40°, particularly with simulated motion, not identified in the standard challenge. A larger study is required to investigate the significance of these results.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 27 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 February 2017
Published date: 1 March 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 406284
ISSN: 0003-9888
PURE UUID: 0a83ecda-bddf-481f-993c-d175780cccda
ORCID for Michael Griffin: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 10 Mar 2017 10:44
Last modified: 29 Sep 2017 17:43

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Author: Renu Arya
Author: Georgina Williams
Author: Anna Kilonback
Author: Martin Toward
Author: Michael Griffin ORCID iD
Author: Peter S. Blair
Author: Peter Fleming

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