Car Seat Safety
To provide your baby with the safest discharge home, we ask that you read your user manual and properly install your car seat in your car before you come to the hospital. If the bucket portion of your car seat can be removed from the base, please bring it with you when you come in to have your baby so we can work with you to properly position your baby in the seat.
We will provide you with information about car seat safety during your stay. This information will help you with the safe and proper placement of your infant in your car seat.
As a reminder, New Jersey has regulations regarding infants and children safely riding in vehicles. For more information regarding the NJ car seat safety requirements, visit the State of New Jersey website or DMV.com website.
Recommendations for Car Seats
- Make sure that the car seat meets the recommended safety standards. Know the year in which your car seat was manufactured.
- Select an infant-only seat, or a convertible seat to be used rear-facing for infants.
- Infant-only seats are sold with 3 or 5-point harnesses. Both meet safety standards, but a 5-point harness is preferable.
- Always read your car seat manual and your motor vehicle car seat installation manual prior to use.
- Positioning inserts or items not sold with the original car seat (after-market products) should be avoided. These products are not tested with the car seat and may cause failure of the car seat.
- The baby may only wear a light sweater/light jacket while in the car set. Blankets may be placed over the baby but NOT under the car seat straps. Heavy jackets should be removed before putting the infant in the car seat to ensure that the straps hug, but not squeeze, the baby.
- The harness straps should hug, but not squeeze, your baby. Always refer to the car seat manual to ensure proper fit.
- Used car seats should not be used if the car seat is more than 6 years old. All car seats must be checked for recalls. Check recalls at carseat.org or www.safekids.org or by phone: 1-800-745-SAFE.
- If your baby was born earlier than 37 weeks, the baby will undergo a car seat “challenge” test prior to discharge. The challenge is intended to test the baby’s ability to sustain an upright position. This “challenge” is not a guarantee of the baby’s safe travel.