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My child is asleep, what’s the best position in their seat?

Child sleeping in the car

18/06/2015

Just as important is the positioning of the CRS by you, something that can be easily done if you are using the ISOFIX system. Once done, what do I do if the child falls asleep? Is it possible to change the position the CRS for the child to remain in the safest position?

When a children fall asleep, they sleep soundly. Often they end up in ridiculous positions, doubled up, head up or head down and it seems they are able to fall asleep anywhere. The car is very good at inducing sleep in a tired child. This is the time, when they are sleeping in the car and they end up in an uncomfortable position, when it could be dangerous if something should happen.

This is why we must take precautions if we think our child may fall asleep during a journey. First of all, this is pretty obvious, but still needs to be mentioned: the installation of the seat, the adjustment of the harness and the position of the seat are fundamental in ensuring a comfortable sleeping position.

Assuming that both the harness and the CRS are correctly installed and adjusted (remember not to seat the child while wearing a coat, it impedes the proper adjustment of the harness), there are then two options: the child is seated in a type I seat, that is to say using a harness otherwise they are using a seatbelt with either a booster seat or cushion.

In the first case, the children will be secure as the harness doesn’t allow them to move, the only thing we must do is make sure their head is properly positioned. If the seat is too upright, the child’s head could fall forward which is uncomfortable. There are seats available that safely allow you to recline them, ensuring that the child is not only safe but also comfortable and their head is supported.

With the booster seat or type II and III seats, the child can wriggle out of the seatbelt to get comfortable or perhaps is so tired he slips out of it. In these situations it is best to stop and sort the child out even if this wakes them up. This must be done, as the level of protection is less when they change position.

The fact that a child falls asleep during a journey is to be expected so it is best to be prudent and change the position or inclination of the seat once they fall asleep or at least make sure they are in a comfortable position particularly when using type II and III seats.

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