How to put your baby’s head in the back of a car seat
Posted On August 6, 2021
In a move that will soon be seen by many as the biggest baby decision of the year, car seat companies are urging mothers to put their babies’ heads into the back seats of cars.
In a new ad campaign by the American Car Seat Association (ACSA), the company calls the idea “baby friendly”.
But many experts say putting your baby in the car seat is a risky idea.
“You have to remember that baby is still developing, so you need to be very careful about the risk,” says Dr Michael Pardew, a paediatrician at the University of Newcastle.
“When you do put a baby in a carseat, you need a lot of experience and you need it to be safe for your child.”
For starters, a baby can slip on the seats if it gets too hot or if there’s a sudden change in air pressure.
The US car seat industry has been working on its own safety campaign since 2012, when the ACSA asked car seat manufacturers to submit suggestions on how to help parents with baby safety.
The group also encouraged manufacturers to provide a child-friendly logo and a warning label on the seat.
“We think car seat safety has become one of the top issues for parents and is a big topic in the media,” says Barbara Rennie, senior vice president for public policy at ACSA.
“The public is becoming increasingly aware of the issue.”
Baby safety guidelines vary from state to stateBut some experts warn that putting a baby’s heads into a car is a dangerous idea.
“It’s just one more reason why we need to take all of the best measures to protect our babies,” says Julie Schulte, a professor of pediatric surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“The parents who have been doing this for decades should be very concerned,” she adds.
“There is a lot to consider when it comes to putting a child in a vehicle.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics says it has reviewed its own research and has found that “the risk of injury to a child during car seats is very low”.
“Studies have shown that car seat use is associated with less harm to the infant than a standard car seat,” it says.
But for parents worried about the safety of putting their child’s head into a vehicle, the ACPA says it is important to remember the baby has already reached the age of independent thought.
“You have a very young child and a very complex brain,” says Pardwes.
“It’s the responsibility of parents to understand and communicate with their child and what their needs are.”
To find out more about how babies are moving around in car seats, visit the ACAA website.