For those uncertain about or unfamiliar with the types of treatment for plagiocephaly, you’ve come to the right place. Plagiocephaly is a condition that a significant number of babies develop in the early months of life. It’s characterised by an asymmetric head shape deformity but thankfully, many cases are mild with the ability to self-correct. Unfortunately, more severe cases will not have time to improve without help and require helmet treatment to bring the head shape back towards normality. If you think that your baby has the condition, you might be wondering who can treat plagiocephaly? Read on for a further understanding surrounding the topic of plagiocephaly treatment.
You’ve seen flat head syndrome treatment through and, after months of supporting your baby with their TiMBand, it’s time to say goodbye to the helmet and acknowledge your combined resilience and, most of all, their corrected head shape. You’ve come a long way together through plagiocephaly treatment and it’s time to celebrate! This can be an emotional time for parents and we love nothing more than seeing all the helmet therapy before and after photos kindly shared with us.
Like many TiMBand parents, you may want to do something momentous to celebrate your baby’s TiMBand graduation, so we’ve put together some of our favourite ideas to inspire you:
Even though your baby will have looked very cute in their TiMBand, the time has come to part ways. At last, you can admire your baby’s new head shape and get your fill of helmet-free snuggles and that lovely baby smell. What better way to document the moment than with a fresh family photoshoot with your little one?
Why wait until they’re 21 to throw your child a graduation party? Your baby has done so well that their TiMBand graduation is worth celebrating too! Creative mum, Galina, put together this beautiful graduation for her little girl, Amara, after she finished her TiMBand treatment. Complete with a baby mortarboard, ‘I’m Done’ banner, and custom cake, Amara looks the part and we’re sure her family felt so proud! Finishing TiMBand treatment is the perfect opportunity to gather close friends and family for a celebration, especially if grandparents and aunts and uncles have been particularly supportive along the way.
During TiMBand treatment, it makes sense to keep hairstyles low maintenance. But once the helmet is off and you can see how much your baby’s hair has grown over the months, why not go for baby’s first haircut? After all, such a beautiful new head shape should have the perfect little haircut to show off all the progress and patience it took to get there.
We’ve seen other parents blog about taking their baby to Build-a-Bear post-treatment, which is a fantastic idea for two reasons. First, little ones love choosing and stuffing their own teddy and this is an activity siblings or friends can join in with! It’s also a great way to store the helmet as a keepsake.
Swimming is fantastic exercise and if you do swim with your baby when in flat head syndrome treatment, just take the helmet off. If you’ve not been before, start now! It’s time to get splashing! Your baby might have experienced swimming before but you can now enjoy a family swimming session without worrying about timings or getting their head wet in the same way. Why not book baby swimming lessons or go for a fun family morning at your local swimming pool?
We love seeing all our little patients graduate and hope you feel inspired to celebrate when the time comes for you to say goodbye to your baby’s TiMBand. Until then, keep up to date with our blog posts and remember we’re here if you have any questions.
In many cases, flat head syndrome will self-correct through repositioning, bringing it within the normal range if carried out correctly. However, where infants have a moderate or a severe flat head, this is unlikely to improve significantly without further intervention.
The question is, what constitutes mild, moderate and severe flat head syndrome?
Plagiocephaly is a relatively common condition and many parents usually notice that their babies have developed a flattening at around eight weeks of age. In the UK, it’s not uncommon for parents to be reassured by their Health Visitor (HV) and General Practitioners (GP) that their baby’s head will self-correct over time and not to be concerned, regardless of whether the condition is considered mild or severe.
Health Visitors and GP adhere to NHS guidelines and the general advice that all types of plagiocephaly will self-correct to some degree. With little information provided other than this advice, parents are then left to consider whether their baby has severe flat head syndrome and what other treatment options are available.
Head shapes can be categorised as normal, mild, moderate or severe and this depends on how far the head shape differs from the norm before treatment.
To help parents and clinicians, a scale of deformity, developed by Dr Louis Argenta is used to describe the severity of head shape deformities. This is then used as part of the decision making process of whether to go ahead with helmet treatment.
He has divided the head shapes into two groups. Firstly, plagiocephaly measures the diagonal symmetry from the outside corner of the eye to the high spot on the other side at the back of the head on both sides. The angle from the centre line is usually measured at 30 or 40 degrees from the midline. The difference in measurement can be described as a number by subtracting one from the other, this is known as the Cranial Vault Asymmetry (CVA).
It can also be described as a percentage by dividing the higher number by the lower one and multiplying by 100. The percentage scale, known as the Olbique Diagonal Difference Index (ODDI) is used in continental Europe and the number measurement is used in the UK and USA / North America.
For plagiocephaly there are five classifications:
We carry out a visual inspection of all our patients and use diagonal measurements to calculate the Cranial Vault Asymmetry (CVA) in order to determine the severity of plagiocephaly. This takes into account the difference between the diagonal head shape measurements to establish whether the head can be categorised as either mild, moderate or severe plagiocephaly.
Argenta has also classified a wide head shape, known as brachycephaly and it is not uncommon to see a combination of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly appearing at the same time.
Brachycephaly is described using three classification scales.
In an initial consultation and assessment of a baby’s head shape, three measurements are taken: circumference, width as a percentage of length from front to back, and diagonal difference. We then classify the severity on how much these measurements deviate from what is classed as the population norm.
As the normal standard deviation chart below demonstrates, treatment is recommended for the most severe five percent of infants, who fall within the moderate and severe ranges.
In a normal head shape (normocephaly), the width of the head is 78 to 83 percent of its length, and the diagonal asymmetry is no more than 6mm. If you were looking down on the head from above, the head appears as an egg or pear shape. This is the green image in the top left hand side of the diagram above.
An asymmetry of over 12mm is considered moderate, whilst a difference of over 18mm is regarded as a severe flat head. We often see asymmetries of over 25mm as well as head shapes than are wider than they are long, at significantly over 100%.
The relationship between diagonal asymmetry and width to length ratio varies, with some combinations considered more severe, and therefore more difficult to fully correct, than the milder head shapes.
To make it easy for parents to monitor the progress of their babies’ flat head syndrome, we have devised an app where you can simply upload a picture and check the head shape against outlines of real babies who have been treated.
If you think your baby may have plagiocephaly, this handy tool helps you understand how severe the deformity is. Simply upload a clear photo of the head shape and we will show you a comparison of head shapes including babies who have undergone treatment with us. You can then see the comparison of the head shapes ‘before and after’ treatment to see the results of TiMband treatment. These results are identified on our severity chart so that you can measure the improvement and see just how much improvement a plagiocephaly helmet can make to your baby’s head shape and way of life.
If you think your baby may fall into the moderate or severe plagiocephaly scale or would like a professional observation and diagnosis, Technology in Motion is here to help. We have clinics throughout the UK and offer free, no-obligation consultations and expert advice. Call us on 0330 100 1800 to book an appointment, or browse our website for more information on plagiocephaly.
A baby can catch an illness at almost any age and any time of year and a baby’s first cold can often feel a little scary for parents. However, it is important to remember that colds and illnesses at an early age often build up a baby’s immunity and will help them fight infection much quicker in future.
Nevertheless, being able to diagnose cold symptoms in young babies quickly is important to help ease discomfort and prevent illnesses developing into more serious conditions.
This blog post explores the initial signs and symptoms of a cold to look out for, simple steps to treat a baby’s cold and how this may affect plagiocephaly treatment.
How do I Know if my Baby has a Cold?
Symptoms of a cold are often easy to spot and are not too dissimilar to the symptoms we experience as adults. A stuffy, runny or congested nose is often the first tell-tale sign your baby may be suffering with a cold but there are a few other symptoms to be aware of. They include:
If your baby is currently undergoing plagiocephaly treatment and is wearing a plagiocephaly helmet for long periods of time throughout the day, you may be concerned as to how this may affect your baby if they are showing symptoms of a cold.
Please read our advice from our clinicians on how illness can affect wearing a plagiocephaly helmet which covers if and when your baby should be wearing a plagiocephaly helmet if they have a rash, high temperature or other illnesses such as chicken pox. The post also explores if less helmet wear during illnesses affects overall progress and results.
4 Simple Steps on Treating a Baby’s Cold
Once you have established that your baby has caught a common cold and doesn’t appear to be developing any other serious symptoms, you will naturally want to try and make your little one feel comfortable and help them to recover as soon as possible.
When to See a Doctor
If your baby is under three months old and is showing signs of a cold, they should be seen by your local GP as a precautionary measure. Seeking medical advice will help to prevent your baby developing anything more serious and will also put your mind at ease.
A fever is another common cold symptom and is the body’s natural way of fighting off infection. However, if your baby has a fever of 39 degrees or higher or the fever is persistent for 5 days or more, you should also book an appointment with your local GP. Other symptoms to be aware of also include difficulty in breathing, severe loss of appetite and signs of dehydration. If your baby displays any of these symptoms it’s important to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
No one knows their baby better than a parent and if you are worried or concerned about any symptoms of illness your baby is showing, it is best to contact your GP for some advice. If your baby is currently undergoing plagiocephaly treatment and you are concerned if and when your baby should wear their plagiocephaly helmet during illness, contact one of our friendly and experienced clinicians who can advise you and provide you with that all important peace of mind.
You may have noticed that your baby has a tendency to tilt their head to one side and a flat spot on your baby’s head. Having discovered that these symptoms are characteristic of torticollis and a head deformity known as plagiocephaly, you might be trying to decide on the best way forward.
Should you try a course of physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic to treat the plagiocephaly and torticollis, or go straight to your doctor for advice?
In 2012, we received a piece of news regarding USA research on craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly. This article highlighted the Department of Pediatric Psychiatry at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s participation in an NIH-funded study of the neurobehavioral correlates of craniosynostosis. This craniofacial disorder is characterized by the premature fusion of two adjoining plates of the skull, which result in malformations and dysmorphology of the head in the absence of corrective surgery.
When parents decide to have their baby fitted with the TiMband, many wonder whether the helmet will affect their baby’s hair growth. The simple answer is yes, but we find that hair growth seems to actually be faster when using a TiMband. Parents, especially Mums, notice that their baby develops a flat spot at the area that’s lying against the cot sheet and this is usually the flattened area. When a helmet is worn, this area is protected and covered and parents even notice that the hair seems to grow more strongly within the helmet than before. This is just the same as when a broken arm or leg is put into a cast. When the cast is removed, the hair has grown due to the protective environment and the reduction in friction from the fabric of sleeves or trouser legs. Don’t worry though, this is common and not permanent and when the helmet comes off at the end of treatment, things go back to normal.