OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to compare the respiratory physiologic features of healthy term infants placed in either a car bed or a car safety seat.

METHODS. Within the first 1 week of life, 67 healthy term infants were recruited and assigned randomly to be monitored in either a car bed (33 infants) or a car safety seat (34 infants). Physiologic data, including oxygen saturation and frequency and type of apnea, were obtained and analyzed in a blinded manner.

RESULTS. The groups spent similar amounts of time in the devices (car bed: 71.6 minutes; car seat: 74.2 minutes). The mean oxygen saturation values were not different between the groups (car bed: 97.1%; car seat: 97.3%). The percentages of time with oxygen saturation of <95% were also similar for the 2 groups (car bed: 18.3%; car seat: 11.8%). In both groups, a number of infants spent high percentages of study time with oxygen saturation of <95%. The 6 infants with the most time at this level were all in the car safety seat group (54%–63% of study time). Values for the 6 infants in the car bed group with the most time at this level were lower (20%–42%). This difference in the duration of oxygen saturation of <95% was not statistically significant. The mean end-tidal carbon dioxide levels and the numbers of episodes of apnea were similar for the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS. The respiratory physiologic features of infants in the 2 car safety devices were observed to be similar. Of note, substantial periods of time with oxygen saturation of <95% were surprisingly common in both groups.

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