Question Rear facing convertible seats-head falls forward when asleep

L

lizbirky

Guest
I others have issues with their child's head falling forward when child sleeps in rear facing position. Have seat reclined as far as it will go an the carseat inspection was approved. I don't understand how her head is protected at all if in an accident.
 

KaiLing

New member
Hi there!

How old is the child? A newborn's head needs not to slump (that's why infant seats are generally around 45 degrees). That is about making sure the baby's airway is open.

As soon as a baby has good head control, we don't worry about head slump. Here's why for rear facing: in a rear facing car seat, in the vast majority of accidents, there will be either a forward collision, or braking at the least. The child's head and spine will move into the shell of the seat (toward the front of the car), and the shell of the seat will absorb the crash forces. That motion is why rear facing is so much safer for small children with big heads and still-developing spines.

Maybe a crash test video of a rear facing car seat can explain the dynamics better than I can--here's a very short one with a dummy where you can see the motion toward the front of the car:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Qef1TXZ05Dg

and here's an animated one arguing for the safety of rear facing versus forward facing. It has narration but also shows the crash dynamics clearly:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssIsceKd6U&feature=player_embedded"]Rear facing vs forward facing position in the car - YouTube[/ame]

Many convertible seats can be installed at a range of angles. If you post what seat you have and what car it is in, it is possible we can help you make it more reclined. But if the kid isn't concerned, I wouldn't be: they're just more flexible than we are and can sleep in all sorts of positions that would make my neck ache for days.
 

jess71903

Ambassador
I'm thinking you have an acceptable angle, according to the angle thingy, but that it could still be more reclined and be in the "good" range. More info would be helpful, as mentioned above, and a picture would be great if you can get one uploaded. The best bet would be to get a pic with something in it that represents ground level.
 

henrietta

New member
I others have issues with their child's head falling forward when child sleeps in rear facing position. Have seat reclined as far as it will go an the carseat inspection was approved. I don't understand how her head is protected at all if in an accident.
My brother has the same question and concern. You're not the only one. He thinks his baby girl will get "whiplash". ;)

As long as her carseat is installed properly and at a good angle (and if you'll share a pic, we might be able to help you decide if it can go a little bit more reclined for her comfort), there isn't much else you can do.

Rearfacing is the safest way for her to travel. Being forward facing would be much less safe. There is only so much you can do--short of putting a helmet on her and strapping her head down (don't do this! LOL)--you use the seat correctly every time and keep her rear-facing for as long as possible, at least up to age 2, preferably up to age 3 or even 4! It's really tough when you realize that there are some things that you cannot do anything else about regarding your kid's health and safety.

But truthfully, she is very safe rearfacing in a properly used seat. If you are in a frontal or side crash, her head will go back into the seatback--supported and aligned. By the time the seat rebounds toward the back seat, if you don't have a rearfacing tether or anti rebound feature, and even w/o that, the car will have slowed down considerably. Her head and neck aren't going to flop all over the place as much as it seems, although even rearfacing crash videos always look violent to me. If you were in a rear-ender, chances are that the two cars are at a low speed and going the same direction, which means a much lower risk of injury, including neck injury. Rearfacing protects her head and neck from exactly what you are talking about.

Does that help?

henrietta
 
O

opal

Guest
Hi there!

How old is the child? A newborn's head needs not to slump (that's why infant seats are generally around 45 degrees). That is about making sure the baby's airway is open.

As soon as a baby has good head control, we don't worry about head slump. Here's why for rear facing: in a rear facing car seat, in the vast majority of accidents, there will be either a forward collision, or braking at the least. The child's head and spine will move into the shell of the seat (toward the front of the car), and the shell of the seat will absorb the crash forces. That motion is why rear facing is so much safer for small children with big heads and still-developing spines.

Maybe a crash test video of a rear facing car seat can explain the dynamics better than I can--here's a very short one with a dummy where you can see the motion toward the front of the car:

and here's an animated one arguing for the safety of rear facing versus forward facing. It has narration but also shows the crash dynamics clearly:
[ame="[URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssIsceKd6U&feature=player_embedded"]Rear[/URL] facing vs forward facing position in the car - YouTube[/ame]

Many convertible seats can be installed at a range of angles. If you post what seat you have and what car it is in, it is possible we can help you make it more reclined. But if the kid isn't concerned, I wouldn't be: they're just more flexible than we are and can sleep in all sorts of positions that would make my neck ache for days.
My daughter is 5 months old and her head lays in her lap because her heads to big
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
My daughter is 5 months old and her head lays in her lap because her heads to big
Hi Opal,

What is the brand/model of your car seat please and is it installed facing the front of the vehicle or facing backward? This sounds like it may be an installation problem, possibly inadequate recline. If you would like to register or visit our facebook group, you can also attach a photo if you wish.
 

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