With the sun finally (hopefully!) out and the summer holidays fast approaching, you may be concerned in case your baby’s plagiocephaly helmet should cause any problems.
The good news is that there’s no need to cancel your holiday, abroad or otherwise. A few short spells in the sun with the plagiocephaly helmet off won’t do any harm so long as it is worn the rest of the time. Provided that it’s only for an hour or two – during the middle of the day when it’s particularly hot, or when you’re both in the pool – you have no need to worry.
Although the TiMband is made from a soft, breathable foam liner, it still provides insulation for the head during treatment. So to compensate, we recommend that you remove a layer of clothing day and night to allow excess heat to leave through the body instead. If you’re hot, then your baby will be too and even though babies who live in hot climates successfully wear a helmet it’s not necessarily the temperature itself that can cause problems, but the sudden rise from one temperature to the other which can be a little stressful.
Keeping a Plagiocephaly Helmet Clean
Although it is rare for babies with plagiocephaly helmets to experience side effects such as heat rash, sometimes minor skin irritation can occur when sweat and natural oils become trapped under the helmet, especially during the summer months. This is not dissimilar to the effect of wearing a bicycle helmet or knee support for a few hours. So while it may be uncomfortable, it’s certainly nothing to worry about. It’s important that you keep the TiMband and your baby’s head hygienic as the inside of the TiMband is often a warm, moist environment which requires regular cleaning.
You can minimise unpleasant odours by giving your baby’s helmet a wipe once or twice a day with a baby wipe then a clean damp cloth or sponge and then wiping it dry. While you’re waiting for it to dry, wash your baby’s hair using a gentle shampoo and make sure both the helmet and your baby’s head are completely dry before you put it back on.
Regularly cleaning a plagiocephaly helmet can minimise odours, itching and skin irritations. Our blog post on how to clean a plagiocephaly helmet has some great tips and helpful suggestions from parents on how to keep plagiocephaly helmets smelling fresh and preventing and relieving any skin irritations.
Wearing a Plagiocephaly Helmet on Holiday
There are many parents who worry about taking their baby on holiday whilst they are wearing their plagiocephaly helmet. However, with the right knowledge and precautions in place, babies successfully wear a helmet in hot climates with very few reported problems.
The TiMband can be worn whilst travelling however you may notice that your baby becomes dehydrated a little quicker than normal. Make sure you have plenty of water available whilst on the aeroplane to keep your baby comfortable and hydrated throughout the journey.
As we typically experience warmer weather on holiday, it’s important to follow the precautions you would normally follow for your baby even if they weren’t wearing a TiMband:
- As the temperatures climb towards midday or in the early afternoon, you can remove the TiMband for a few hours during the hottest parts of the day to allow your baby to cool off. Where possible though, we would recommend you stick as close as possible to the 23 per hour a day routine.
- If you want to swim with your little one in the sea or swimming pool, take the TiMband off and keep it in a safe place, just as you would at bath time. You can then put the helmet back on once you’ve thoroughly dried baby’s head.
- Keep your baby out of direct sunlight and try to stick to shaded areas, just as you would normally. Use a high factor sun cream on the exposed areas of your baby’s head, taking extra care at the opening of the top of the helmet and on the ears.
- If your baby becomes ill whilst on holiday and suffers with an upset tummy, diarrhoea or sickness then take the TiMband off until they have fully recovered.
If you follow this advice and your own maternal instincts, there’s no need to let concerns about the heat spoil your holiday. A little bit of sun allows the skin to make Vitamin D, which helps bones and heart muscles to develop. It’s normal for your baby to get a bit hot and bothered – don’t we all sometimes – and a bit of rubbing and scratching is perfectly natural. If you are still concerned about how comfortable is a plagiocephaly helmet, our blog post goes into further detail about what you can do during illness and hot weather.
So long as you keep the helmet clean and dry, use a good sunscreen and avoid staying in direct sunlight for too long, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything necessary to keep your baby happy on holiday.
If you have any other concerns regarding plagiocephaly treatment during the summer months, Technology in Motion has over 10 years’ experience providing helmet treatment for plagiocephaly and can provide you with specialist plagiocephaly advice and support for keeping baby cool and comfortable. Call 0330 100 1800 or contact us via the enquiry form to book an appointment at one of our clinics.