Your baby needs to ride in a special safety-restraint seat whenever he is placed in an automobile. In an accident, an unrestrained child becomes a missilelike object in a car. The force of a crash can literally pull a child out of an adult's arms!
This rule applies even for the shortest trips. It's incredible, but one study showed more than 30 deaths a year occur to unrestrained infants going home from the hospital after birth! In nearly all these cases, if the baby had been in an approved infant-restraint system, he or she would have survived the accident. Don't take chances—keep your baby safely restrained.
Many states now have laws that govern safety-restraint systems. Call your local hospital or police department and ask for information. Some hospitals won't let you take the baby home if he or she is not going to ride in an approved safety-restraint seat. Many hospitals have loaners you can borrow until you get your own.
The safest spot for a baby's car seat is in the middle of the back seat. In this position, it is more protected in the event of a side collision. Manufacturers recommend not putting the car seat in the front seat, especially if you have a passenger-side airbag.