CALHOUN, Ga. — An adjustable headrest from Sleepy Time Headrest Co. is designed to support one’s head from all angles, and it can be used with wheelchairs, car seats, feeder seats and other applications.
The Sleepy Time Headrest is one piece that comprises two side panels, a back panel and a strap that Velcros under the chin. It is available in different sizes and can be used for people of all ages, from infants to adults, according to company founder Sherri Marbutt, who invented the headrest with her husband, an engineer.
The headrest helps to keep the user’s head and neck properly aligned. The side panels prevent the user’s head from jerking side to side, and the chin support prevents the head from falling forward. It’s made of cotton with fiber filling inside the side panels to provide comfort.
The Sleepy Time Headrest’s design is patented, and Marbutt told SBF that it has been dynamically crash tested and approved according to FMVSS 213.
“I invented this product for my daughter because she couldn’t keep her head up in her car seat,” Marbutt explained, noting that the headrest doesn’t interfere with car seat straps or seat belts.
She added that in the years since she first developed and began testing the headrest, interest from those in the special-needs industry has grown substantially, and Marbutt now views the headrest as having a larger purpose: to provide comfort for individuals with special needs.
“It can be customized, especially for children with special needs,” she said. “As an example, we have people who have babies with torticollis using it to help keep the babies’ head comfortably supported instead of using a hard collar.”
Doctors and therapists have reviewed the product, and she has also received support for the headrest from Safe Kids Georgia. Marbutt said officials from the organization have provided her with car seat technician training and have informed her of the processes behind car seat and seat belt testing.
To increase awareness about her product in the special-needs market, Marbutt said she works closely with Children’s of Alabama and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and parents of children with special needs have purchased the headrest. She would also like to introduce her product to the school bus industry so that students with special needs have more comfort and support as they travel to and from school.
“I would like for them to be used in the classroom in schools, but I feel it would be a blessing for them to be used in the bus, too,” Marbutt said.
To secure the Sleepy Time Headrest for a student who uses a wheelchair, Marbutt said she applies Velcro to the back panel of the headrest, and once the other half of the Velcro is applied to the back of the wheelchair, the headrest will remain in place.
For more information about the Sleepy Time Headrest, e-mail [email protected], call (706) 263-3186, visit www.childrensheadrest.com or check out the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SleepyTimeHeadrest.