Importance of car seat head support

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Importance of car seat head support

As a new parent, you have probably wondered about the head supports for the car seats. How important are the car seat head support ? Are they really necessary to have? What are the best ones on the market? Let’s look into these questions in this article.

Do you need a baby head support?

Many parents worry about their children being properly secured in a child’s car seat. The headrests help babies to keep their heads and bodies at the right angle while in car seats. The head support doesn’t allow a child’s head to fall forward at a discomforting and dangerous position.

Especially infants, whose neck muscles are not strong to keep the head still, need head support the most. Apart from car seats that already come with car seat head support, there are many different accessories that you can purchase to help your child’s head to be at a safe angle.

The car seat manufacturers are fully aware of the child development stages and the car seats are always tested considering safety. As long as your car seat is installed correctly, your child should be secured.

Why is a car headrest important?

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A small baby’s head is prone to lean to the sides which is absolutely normal and will not harm the baby.

It is when a child’s head flops forward you have to take actions to prevent this from happening as it can be very detrimental for your baby. The baby’s airways can be affected causing difficulty breathing.

An infant cannot lift the head by himself because of the weak neck muscles and also the size and weight of his head, so the chance of being injured is quite high.

Hence why the head support that helps position a baby’s head correctly is important.

Read also what are the five most common car seat mistakes.

How can head support prevent injuries?

Head support that a car seat comes with does not affect the way the safety seat will work, protecting a child in a car crash.

If you opt for an additional safety seat head support accessory it is strongly advisable to contact your child’s seat manufacturer for clarification on whether it is safe to use it with the type of a car seat you have.

Avoid the head supports that will angle the baby’s head forward to her chest compressing the airways and affecting the ability to breathe freely. Also, stay away from the ones that can fall behind a baby’s head forcing it to move forward. Those can be dangerous.

Most parents think that getting extra head support will protect their baby better in the event of a crash. This is not true. Purchasing very puffy soft head supports only increases the risk of a baby being injured.

It is not safe to use them because they are not tested with car seats. You can’t predict how is it going to move during the car ride and how is it going to affect a baby, so we do not recommend buying it.

If you believe your baby’s head is very wobbly, look into getting a soft liner with head and neck support that will bring your baby comfort and extra support and will restrain a child’s head movement.

Infant car seat head support

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Small children need the head supported the most, as they are still developing muscles that can help to control the neck and to hold the head.

Usually, a car seat is designed the way to help a small passenger to stay snuggled.

There are two types of newborn car seats: rear-facing and front-facing. Rear-facing car seats are the safest option for newborns. This way, a newborn’s head will be supported by a neck support system.

Does your infant need head support?

Generally, the infant car seat is built to provide extra support for little ones. So it is not necessary to get anything extra.

If you have a newborn with very unstable neck support, then the car seat head support might be required.

Head support allows your baby to lean on it for more comfort and support.

Never purchase any head support that will restrict the baby’s movements and baby’s head.

Once your child outgrows the age of three months, extra baby car seat head support might not be needed. It is individual and depends on your baby when she is ready to hold her head up.

How to position a baby’s head correctly in a car seat?

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Many parents do not realize that when the baby’s head leans towards one side it is not a big deal. They try to correct the position of the head by turning it straight. Just know that it is normal and natural for a baby to turn her head to the side so she can breathe without trouble.

If your child’s head is wobbly, there is what you can do:

Check the car seat installation

Make sure you’ve installed the car seat according to the instructions. If in doubt, it is best to call professionals. They will help you with the installation of a car seat.

The car seat must be installed at the right angle to prevent your baby’s head from falling forward. Follow the car seat manual to know about the reclining feature of your car seat.

Tighten the car seat harness straps

Put your baby in a car seat and buckle the harness straps. Adjust them according to the baby’s size. They mustn’t be too loose or too tight.

You can check yourself performing the pinch test. Pinch the harness webbing at the shoulder. If you tighten the straps correctly, you won’t have any harness webbing between your fingers.

The chest clip must be located in the proper position on the baby’s chest. Failing to position it correctly might interfere with the baby’s breathing or a baby falling out of the seat and injuring herself.

When can you stop using head support?

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Indication of good head control is when your baby can lift their head and chestup. Typically, once your baby can hold her head and chest, you can start using a car seat without head support.

There are no studies regards to this subject because head support is not something compulsory to have. Also, every kid is different and develops at his own pace. So roughly at the age of five to six months head support is no longer required.

Head support for the infant car seat should always be positioned in a way that allows the baby to breathe without problems. The baby’s head mustn’t be restricted from movements and it must be able to move both sides.

Don’t forget, head support that did not come with your car seat must be used carefully. Watch out for the baby’s head falling forward and the proper position of the baby in a car seat.

Refraining from the risk of child injuries, the use of the head support that came along with your car seat is preferred.

In unknown situation, contact the car seat manufacturer for consulting regards to your particular head support.

To summarize, remove the head support when:

· Your baby’s developed strong muscles to hold the head up

· Your baby’s outgrown the car seat head support

· Your baby’s reached the age of six months

Toddler car seat head support

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The child aged two to three years old doesn’t need any head support. The body muscles are developed and strong to be able to hold a child’s head up. Even if your child falls asleep in a car seat and his head falls chin forward, he will always be able to lift it once he feels uncomfortable.

Most parents assume that kids are uncomfortable if they sit in odd positions. Children can adjust to any position just fine and might be quite happy and content so you don’t need to disturb them.

Even though head support isn’t needed for toddlers, in case of your child’s neck pain you can try to use the head support pillows as long as they are approved by your car seat manufacturer.

Is the head support needed for a toddler?

· It is not needed for a child aged three to five years old

· Can only be used if it is manufacturer-approved

· Can be used if your child has neck pain

Headrest for Graco car seat

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The most popular car seat brand chosen by many parents is Graco. It is safe and performed well on crash tests.

Some of the Graco seats come with head supports included. Such head supports are fully tested along with a car seat and do not affect the level of protection the car seat provides.

If you happen to purchase a Graco safety seat, know that their head supports are completely removable. Once a child’s head doesn’t flop forward anymore the head support can be removed.

Always check the car seat recline angle to ensure the correct position of your baby’s head and body. A Baby’s spine must be in a straight line. Failing to do so can lead to a baby’s head or spine injury.

Some convertible Graco seats for older children also have head supports that can be removed with ease. Refer to the owner’s manual for the instructions.

Head support accessories for a safe head position

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As a new parent, you probably wonder what other head supports are available on the market, that are safe and efficient in holding your child’s head up. Below are a couple of products that are worth to be considered as long as they have been tested and approved by your safety seat manufacturer.

Head and body support pillow

The pillows mustn’t be big and puffy so it doesn’t increase the risk of your child getting an injury.

Ideally, such car seat head supports will keep your baby in a correct straight position allowing her head to lean on the side and rest against a soft pillow.

Head straps

It is a head support accessory that is made out of soft fabric. It helps to control the head of a child that likes to sleep chin forward. You wrap the head strap around the baby’s head and it restricts head movement. Ensure it doesn’t get to push on the head.

This product mustn’t be used if not approved by your safety seat manufacturer. It also can become a choking hazard if you position it wrong.

What are the ideal head supports for kids car seats

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For the car seat head support that will protect the head of your child from falling chin forward:

· It has to be comfortable for your baby to move around and sleep in the correct position

· Give enough protection for the unstable wobbly child’s head that he cannot control as of yet

· It shouldn’t push on the child’s head too much

· It has to be tested and approved by the vendor of the car seat

FAQs

Is car seat head support necessary?

No, it is not, unless your baby is too small and can’t control her head yet. Almost all infant car seats come with head supports that parents leave and use. Take care to use it correctly so it doesn’t push a baby’s head forward or limit the movement of the head.

When to remove head support from the car seat?

Once your child reaches the age of six months, the car seat head support can be removed. Follow the car seat manual on how to do it.

Conclusion

We hope now you understand the importance of head support in a car seat for a small baby that is still developing muscles to hold her head.It is crucial to make sure a baby’s head doesn’t fall forward as it can affect her ability to breathe which in turn is very dangerous.

Share the article with other parents you know so they can keep their babies safe. If you have any questions left, post them in the comment section below.

Alice Brooks

Hi!!!My name is Alice Brooks. Here I share my observations and conclusions from my experience and the experience of my friends. First of all, I pay attention to safety and only then to trends. I want to help other parents to choose the right product.

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