When weighing up the pros and cons of plagiocephaly helmet treatment, many parents ask us whether there is a risk of the condition returning once it has been corrected. We have also found that some parents whose babies are reaching the end of their treatment are also wondering this. However, we’re pleased to reassure parents that plagiocephaly will not return after helmet treatment.
Cleaning Your Baby’s Helmet to Minimise Odours and Itching
On our Facebook page, parents often ask for advice on how to clean a plagiocephaly helmet, particularly during the summer.
While a plagiocephaly helmet is a safe form of treatment with no detrimental effect on cranial growth, it can often start to get a bit smelly. People who have to wear a helmet for work or use a cast for a broken bone find the same and it is perfectly natural. The odour is caused by sweat and natural skin oils, and so is especially common in babies with long hair and during the warmer months of the year. Some babies can also experience minor sweat rash or redness on the scalp.
How does plagiocephaly affect the head and face?
Plagiocephaly is predominantly identified by a flattening either at the back or to either side of the skull. As a direct result of this flattening, facial features can become misaligned and other issues may develop. The facial features subject to the most change include the eyes and the ears. As such, facial asymmetry is also regarded as a good indication of plagiocephaly.
Do cranial helmets influence ear position in babies with plagiocephaly?
In 2012, a paper was published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery exploring whether or not helmet therapy, such as TiMband treatment, influences the ear position in babies with positional plagiocephaly.
This is a question that we are often asked but it’s a difficult one to answer, as the changes can be so subtle.
Why is plagiocephaly treatment recommended as a standard intervention for babies in the USA while babies in the UK are expected to self-correct? Throughout Britain, countless parents of babies suffering from varying degrees of flat head syndrome are being sent home by the NHS and told to ‘wait and see’ with the reassurance that the condition will always fully improve on its own. Time is being wasted as parents wait and, despite continual repositioning and sleepless nights, they see little or no result for their efforts. As helmet therapy is only able to help infants under the age of 14 months while the skull is still flexible and growing rapidly, the UK’s trivializing stance on plagiocephaly treatment is seeing thousands of children miss out on the opportunity to have a ‘normal’ head shape.
Close collaboration between parents, treatment specialists is essential to ensure that intervention is started at the right time to provide effective treatment for babies with plagiocephaly. Timing takes into account a number of contributing factors to the condition including, the age of the infant, the severity of the deformity and the presence or absence of other related issues such as facial deformity, torticollis and craniosynotosis.
There are three vital stages of plagiocephaly intervention that should be considered for effective plagiocephaly treatment in infants.
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.
Many parents that contact us or visit us at our clinics often ask “what’s a normal head shape for a baby?” and “how can I tell if the flattening is plagiocephaly?” Although we would always advise that you visit one of our leading orthotists for a professional diagnosis if you are concerned about your baby’s head shape, this blog post offers some key indicators for recognising plagiocephaly and the steps you can take to treat the condition.
Can Flat Head Syndrome Cause Brain Damage?
Following a diagnosis of plagiocephaly, parents often carry out extensive research online to try and understand exactly how the condition affects the brain or seek out clinical online studies to help them decide whether to treat and which treatment option will have the best results for their baby. (more…)
Many parents who contact us are concerned that TiMband will be distressing for their baby. This post is to give you some idea about how the many babies and parents that we see manage their daily lives with a helmet. Choosing to treat your baby with a plagiocephaly helmet is a difficult decision for many parents and making sure your baby is happy, healthy and comfortable throughout their journey is understandably your number one concern. It’s also our number one priority too so we make sure that our helmets are very comfortable.
Flat head syndrome specialist Steve Mottram discusses the options that are available for reducing the incidence and severity of deformational plagiocephaly
The subject of flat head syndrome has been dividing the medical community both in the UK and internationally since the Back to Sleep Campaign of 1992 saw its incidence rise. There are two distinct schools of thought: advocates of ‘it’s only cosmetic’, and those recommending specialist treatments. (more…)