Adding Head Rests to an Econoline?

We own a 12 passenger Ford Econoline and would like to add head rests to the bench seats. We have 4 children; 3 in car seats and 1 in a high back booster, but she’s quickly outgrowing it, and I don’t want to take her out of it until there’s something there to support her neck in an accident.

I’ve heard of people doing this, but haven’t been able to find where to start looking for someone who actually does it! -OR- could we possibly do it ourselves somehow?

Thanks for any input.

Rather than head “rests”, I assume that you are referring to head restraints.
The head restraints on modern vehicles are–literally–engineered into the design of the seats, so the probability of adding a head restraint that functions like the ones that come directly from the factory is…not likely at all.

So–If you are looking for head “rests” for comfort, these can be added by a really good auto upholstery shop. But, if you are seeking the safety of genuine head restraints to prevent “whiplash” injuries to passengers’ necks in the event of being rear ended, any shop that tells you they can do this is…not telling the truth…unless they employ a team of automotive engineers and also have a facility where they can crash-test vehicles in order to test their designs.

If you are seeking head restraints, rather than head rests, you will have to buy a different vehicle that comes with this feature direct from the factory.

How old is your Econoline?

If it didn’t come with head restraints from the factory, it’s highly unlikely they can be added. And even if they could, they might not be safe.

A lot of testing goes into head restraint design and construction. It’s not something you can do at home, and installing some sort of add-on or home-made head restraints might be worse than having none.

Perhaps you should trade your Econoline for a vehicle designed and built with head restraints for all passenger seating positions.

Any modern minivan can accommodate a family of six.

I have had cars without them, bought after market ones with long rods and shoved it in the seat. Now are the kids head higher than the back rest? My solution is not as good as a head restrain that was designed for the car, but would at least minimize whiplash injury. Obviously buying a car that has one is safer.