The most common cause for helmets today is to treat positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome. A number of factors contribute to positional plagiocephaly. In most cases, the issue will fix itself by the time the child is 5 years old. But if a parent is concerned, a helmet can help properly shape the skull.
How do you know if your baby needs a helmet?
Your doctor will check your baby’s head size and shape at each well-child visit. These visits happen about every 2 months during infancy. If your baby has a large flat spot that isn’t getting better by about 4 months of age, your doctor may prescribe a helmet.
How can I fix my baby’s head without a helmet?
Try these tips:
- Practice tummy time. Provide plenty of supervised time for your baby to lie on the stomach while awake during the day. …
- Vary positions in the crib. Consider how you lay your baby down in the crib. …
- Hold your baby more often. …
- Change the head position while your baby sleeps.
Do babies really need helmets for flat heads?
FRIDAY, May 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Some babies develop a flat area on their head from lying in the same position for long periods of time, but special helmets are ineffective in treating the condition, a new study finds.
Are baby helmets really necessary?
“There are definitely cases of infants with mild to moderate skull deformation who are treated with helmet therapy, and this study confirms and reaffirms that this is not necessary,” said Dr. James J. Laughlin, an author of the policy statement on skull deformities for the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP.
Is it OK if my baby sleeps with her head to the side?
Most parents know that the safest way to put their baby to sleep is on its back. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who always sleep with their head to the same side can develop flat spots.
How long does a baby have to wear a helmet for flat head?
They’re usually made of plastic with a foam lining, and they look similar to a kid’s bicycle helmet. Depending on his condition, your baby may wear the helmet for a month or two to as long as six months. Most doctors will instruct you to leave the helmet on for 23 hours each day, removing it only for bathtime.
How long does it take for baby’s head to round out?
It can take 9-18 months before a baby’s skull is fully formed. During this time some babies develop positional plagiocephaly.
When should I stop worrying about flat head?
When does flat head syndrome go away? Flat head syndrome is most common between the ages of 6 weeks and 2 months old, and almost always resolve completely by age 2, particularly if parents and caregivers regularly work on varying baby’s positions when he’s awake.
How can I shape my baby’s head?
Try these remedies to help your baby’s head shape even out: Put your baby on their back to go to sleep. Once they’re asleep, gently turn their head so that they are lying on a non-flat side and not on the back of their head. Do not use any cushions or clothing to keep your baby’s head in place.
What if plagiocephaly is left untreated?
Positional plagiocephaly does not usually cause serious complications. If congenital plagiocephaly, which is caused by craniosynostosis, is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including: Head deformities, possibly severe and permanent. Increased pressure inside the head.
Are head shaping helmets necessary?
PRACTICE CHANGER. Do not recommend helmet therapy for positional skull deformity in infants and children. Wearing a helmet causes adverse effects but does not alter the natural course of head growth. B: Based on a single-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT).
How common is flat head syndrome?
Two types of plagiocephaly
Positional plagiocephaly, also called deformational plagiocephaly, is the most common type of flat head syndrome. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, it affects up to 50 percent of babies. Congenital plagiocephaly, also known as craniosynostosis, is a rare birth defect.
Can adults have flat head syndrome?
Plagiocephaly (an asymmetrical head), scaphocephaly (a long narrow head) and brachycephaly (a short wide head) can occasionally cause problems for adults. These conditions are most commonly seen in children.
Do cranial helmets hurt babies?
Helmet molding therapy is not painful or uncomfortable for your baby. Duration of treatment can vary based on your baby’s needs, but average treatment is 3 months. Helmet therapy is also known as cranial orthosis.
When is it too late for a baby helmet?
Babies referred for helmets at a later age (e.g., after 8 months), or after position changes and physical therapy did not help can still get helmets. However, they may have to wear them for a longer time than if they had started at a younger age.