Helmets and Car Seats



Can my baby wear their helmet while they are in the car seat?

Almost all of our babies do wear their helmet safely in their carseats during the treatment process! If you are going to be in the car for 30 minutes or longer this is a good opportunity for your baby to wear their helmet to prevent flattening. Often while your baby is sitting in their car seat they are resting on the back or side of their head that has a flat spot. Research has shown that spending prolonged periods of time, about more than 4 hours a day, in a car seat can contribute to creating a flat spot. Wearing the helmet in the car seat allows for there to be a space between the back of their head and the seat promoting the continued growth of their head in these areas.


While this is a great opportunity for your baby to wear their helmet there are instances in which you may not want to place a helmet on your baby’s head in the car. If your baby is wearing a helmet in the car seat and it is causing their chin to rest on their chest, it is not recommended that you leave their helmet on while they are in the car seat. Read more at Protecting Infants and Toddlers from Positional Asphyxia: Car Seats and Sling Carriers.





Is there a car seat made specifically for babies with helmets?


Not Yet! As of right now there is not a car seat made specifically for babies who wear a helmet. We recommend continuing use of the car seat you have if it is appropriate for your child's height and weight. There are many styles of car seats and the safest one for your baby is one that you will use consistently and accurately. The type of car seat need also depends on multiple factors including your child's age, weight, height, and the style of your car. According to the CDC, it is recommended that your child remains in a rear-facing car seat for approximately 2 to 4 years depending on their height and weight. For more information regarding safety features, fitting your child in their car seat, and choosing the best car seat for your car you can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Website. Here is the link!


Here One Of Our Favorite Patients Is Safe In The Car Seat With Her Helmet & Ta Tracheostomy Tube (She Does Need To Get Buckled In Though <3 )

Can I modify my car seat?


Some car seats have padding and inserts that might cause their head to come forward while they are in their car seat. In some instances this can be removed in order to allow for more room and comfort while they are wearing their helmet however, it is recommended that you check your car seat manual before doing this to ensure you are not reducing the safety features of the car seat. Some car seats also allow you to change the angle or position your child is seated at however, we also recommend that you check the manual for your car seat before altering the position your child is in. It is never recommended to add any after market products to the car seat.





Will it be too hot for my baby to wear their helmet in the car?

Your baby’s helmet does increase their body heat however, there are some things you can do in the car to help keep them cool as a cucumber. You can start your car before bringing your child into it to allow for the air-conditioning to cool th


e car down. You can turn the air-conditioner on Max A/C while you are in the car to keep it cool. You can also dress your baby in less layers or remove clothing items such as their socks and shoes to help them keep cool!


Bottom Line

Ultimately, making sure your baby is positioned safely in their car seat is the first priority. Their comfort and your confidence in their safety are the most important factors that contribute to deciding to place a helmet on your child's head while they are in their car seat. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about your child wearing their helmet in their car seat call us to make an appointment for a free evaluation or follow-up appointment!



References:

Car seats and booster seats. (2021, February 17). Retrieved February 20, 2021, from https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats


Child passenger safety: Get the facts. (2020, October 30). Retrieved February 20, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmotorvehiclesafety%2Fchild_passenger_safety%2Fcps-factsheet.html


Hubbs-Tait, L., &amp; Peek, G. (2017). Protecting infants and toddlers from positional asphyxia: Car seats and sling carriers [pdf]. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from https://education.okstate.edu/outreach/fcs/ohce/site-files/resources/learning-session-resources/positional-asphyxia-factsheet.pdf


Littlefield, T. R., Kelly, K. M., Reiff, J. L., & Pomatto, J. K. (2003). Car seats, infant carriers, and swings: their role in deformational plagiocephaly. JPO: Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 15(3), 102-106.



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