I told dh that we didn't need the backseat headrests in our minivan... - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > I told dh that we didn't need the backseat headrests in our minivan...
mammal_mama's Avatar mammal_mama 10:14 PM 08-15-2010
So he threw them out. I know this was very dumb of me, I honestly don't know what I was thinking. We'd had to remove one to fit dd2's carseat, and then sometimes we'd move it for various reasons, so we ended up with all the headrests out and cluttering the van.

Then I guess one day I said to get rid of them. I don't know why I didn't realize how risky it could be for someone's neck.

I went to the Chrysler Town & Country site -- and the pictures I saw don't look like our headrests -- but it was showing the sale price at around $700 for a set of two, I think.

Could this be right? If so, I guess we'll have to take it out of our tax return this winter, because I honestly don't see how we'll have it 'til then. And we'll just try to walk and take the bus everywhere.

It would be great to hear that I'm not the only idiot out there. Has anyone else ever been such a ditz, no probably not in the Family Safety Forum...

Any advice is welcome.

smpayne's Avatar smpayne 10:43 PM 08-15-2010
Check out ebay before going to the dealer. I have been able to replace a lot of stuff that way for about about 1/4 of the dealer price.
34me's Avatar 34me 11:00 PM 08-15-2010
I would try the junk yard. Man I love that place. I have gotten a car horn for me (who wears out a car horn), so many pieces for my dh's mitsubishi, some subaru parts.....
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 11:05 PM 08-15-2010
Yes, I vote for checking junkyard or salvage yard.

What kids are in the backseat now? High-backed boosters can provide adequate head protection until you get headrests.

And trust me, that's not even close to the ditziest thing I've heard/seen.
luv-my-boys's Avatar luv-my-boys 11:07 PM 08-15-2010
You might want to see if there is something like a pick-n-pull in your area. Its basically like a junk yard with a bunch of vehicles/parts and you can go see if they have what you want. Prices tend to be pretty reasonable.

Also a repair shop may be able to source one for you. There are basically businesses that literally sell anything used imaginable for a car. They would put out a lead for your model headrests and see if anyone has some. Again a lot cheaper than brand new from the manuf. and in some cases you get them refurbished and with a warantee.
Valerieg's Avatar Valerieg 11:20 PM 08-15-2010
The headrests for my Dodge Grand Caravan (essentially the same vehicle) are currently on the floor of my garage. You'd think a vehicle that is typically used for hauling children would be a little more carseat friendly. But I also found that it was tough to get them in correctly with the headrests in there. It isn't typically a problem, mine are all still in regular carseats, but this weekend when my mom and sisters were in my car and we removed the carseats they certainly complained.

So, you aren't alone, though I haven't thrown mine out. Hopefully, knowing your story will keep me from doing so. Though I do hope that I don't lose them. That's always a possibility!
mammal_mama's Avatar mammal_mama 01:11 PM 08-16-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Yes, I vote for checking junkyard or salvage yard.

What kids are in the backseat now? High-backed boosters can provide adequate head protection until you get headrests.
Actually right now my 5yo is the only kid in the back, and she's still in her high-back booster. My 10yo is at least 5'5" tall now, and weighs well over 100 lbs ... and a while back she actually started complaining that it wasn't comfortable to ride in the back with no head support. Smart girl.

So she started riding in the front passenger seat, which I know she probably shouldn't do 'til age 12 -- but now that I've suddenly had my epiphany and realized it could be really bad for someone's neck to ride in the back with no head-support, I feel like she's actually safer up there since the adult shoulder belt fits her so perfectly, and we have airbags.

So for some months now, if we've all four gone somewhere as a family, I've ridden in the back with dd2. I actually don't go out a lot, especially now that I work from home part time, I'm content staying home and not going anywhere for days or weeks at a time.

The girls and I can walk to nearby parks in the neighborhood, and there is also a lot we can do on the bus. Dh has just also gotten a work-from-home job, opposite hours from me, so we no longer have a desparate need for a vehicle, though of course it makes errands like grocery shopping easier.

We just have all these years of car-payments because of the stupidity we signed on for, buying a bigger vehicle than we even needed. I was pregnant at the time (I miscarried soon after), and we were thinking about how I'd always sat in the back and nursed dds 1 and 2 in their carseats, since neither was the kind of baby who relaxed and dozed in the car, but more the screaming kind. And we knew there'd be no way I could sit in the back with three kids in a regular car.

It's bad but I keep wishing someone would steal it and render it completely undrivable (cars are always getting broken into on our block), so we can at least be freed from the payments. But of course we still lock up and use The Club on our steering wheel as we know how wrong and dishonest it would be to "invite" someone to break in.

Quote:
And trust me, that's not even close to the ditziest thing I've heard/seen.
Thanks for your kindness! And thanks to everyone for all the ideas about how I might find replacements cheaper. I suppose we could focus on just replacing one or two headrests at a time. A total of four are missing, but with our family of four there are only two in the back at any given time. And of course now that I realize the danger, I'll be the one riding in the back without a headrest, and never my 10 yo. And I'll only ride if it's absolutely necessary.

Does anyone have info about the risks of being in an accident without head support? Dh is currently still of the mind that he just did what I told him to do, and now here I am changing my mind...so I'm wanting to gradually help him realize just how risky it is, and yes I was dumb to tell him that, but just because I was wrong, it doesn't mean we have to keep on putting anyone in danger.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 01:27 PM 08-16-2010
I'd definetly check into pull-a-part and see if you can get one or two from them. Seems like the easiest, quickest, cheapest option
WindyCityMom's Avatar WindyCityMom 05:33 PM 08-17-2010
If your 10yo is 5'5" and over 100lbs I'd let her ride in the front. I'm 5'4" and weighed 112lbs pre-pregnancy (125 currently postpartum). If the shoulder belt fits square on her shoulder I'd personally let her. Especially over the seat with no head rest.

I agree, check out the junk yard.
happysmileylady's Avatar happysmileylady 05:39 PM 08-17-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
If your 10yo is 5'5" and over 100lbs I'd let her ride in the front. I'm 5'4" and weighed 112lbs pre-pregnancy (125 currently postpartum). If the shoulder belt fits square on her shoulder I'd personally let her. Especially over the seat with no head rest.

I agree, check out the junk yard.
Agreed. Safety in the front seat isn't about the age of the child, but the size. I am only 5"2 and average 100lbs to 110lbs not pg. It's as safe for your child to sit in the front passenger seat as it is for me when DH is driving. And actuallly probably safer than I am in the drivers seat myself because I have to sit so close to the steering wheel to reach the pedals that I am pretty sure the airbag is more dangerous to me than not having one.
Mommybree's Avatar Mommybree 05:55 PM 08-17-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Agreed. Safety in the front seat isn't about the age of the child, but the size. I am only 5"2 and average 100lbs to 110lbs not pg. It's as safe for your child to sit in the front passenger seat as it is for me when DH is driving. And actuallly probably safer than I am in the drivers seat myself because I have to sit so close to the steering wheel to reach the pedals that I am pretty sure the airbag is more dangerous to me than not having one.
Actually, safety in the front seat is about age, not size.

From this article about a study that concluded that children under 15 shouldn't ride in the front seat: Dr. Craig "Newgard and co-author Dr. Roger Lewis, an emergency-medicine researcher at the University of California-Los Angeles, said several body changes that take place during puberty, including muscle mass, bone density and bone-mineral content, may help explain why body size alone isn't a good measurement of risk from the air bags in children.

"Anyone who drives needs to be empowered with this information," said Newgard. "When my 13-year-old nephew wants to sit in the front seat now, I won't let him."

I realize that it is problematic when there isn't proper head support in the backseat, like a situation where the OP needs to replace the headrests in the back. Personally, in a situation like the OP's situation, where a 10 year old child doesn't have proper head support in the backseat of a vehicle, I would opt for a highback booster for head support in the back over letting the child ride in the front seat. Not only would that make the child safer (by being in the back and providing head support), but then the adult who would otherwise be sitting in the back seat could then sit in the front seat with head support.

ETA: I realize it could be potentially pricey to buy a highback booster that is tall enough for a kiddo over 5 feet, so I know that it may not be an ideal answer, but in terms of making everyone safer in the meantime until headrests can be acquired, it would definitely be less than the $700 for the headrests. I know it's not a perfect answer, but I'm thinking in terms of trying to find a solution where no adult is riding without a headrest and no child is riding without a headrest or in the front seat.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 06:06 PM 08-17-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Agreed. Safety in the front seat isn't about the age of the child, but the size.
Safety in the front seat is indeed about the age of the child as well as the size: a person with a well-developed skeleton is better able to withstand airbag deployment and mature (post-puberty) hips hold a lap belt down. A 10yo and a 25yo may be the exact same size, but the adult is safer in the front seat.

Given the situation, if a highback booster in back is not doable for fit or expense reasons, I'd still put the child in the front. I'd use a backless booster if necessary to ensure good belt fit.
mammal_mama's Avatar mammal_mama 02:10 AM 08-18-2010
Thanks everyone! I feel much better now that dh is on board with me about this and he will be scouting out good deals on headrests. Even if we just get one at a time, that's better than not doing it at all. Thanks for all the great ideas on places to look!
azdesertrn's Avatar azdesertrn 09:40 PM 08-19-2010
What year? There are some headrests on Ebay. Here is one: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=+he...286.m270.l1313

Just giving you another place to look.

Adding:
This seller says they have different kinds:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Headr...Q5fAccessories
mammal_mama's Avatar mammal_mama 04:29 PM 08-21-2010
Thank you for those links, azdesertrn! I'll have to check with dh about the year. He did just find and order two headrests on ebay for a total of, I think, around $40.00. And we are looking to replace the back two headrests as soon as we can. I'm so glad this didn't turn out to be such a big deal!
Up