Adults need helmets for protection while babies need helmets for skull change. A good number of babies get some skull deformity, which requires a baby helmet for correction.
Same way adults need helmets, babies need helmets too but they need it to adjust the shape of their skulls, maybe the baby has an illness. They could diagnose babies with positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome.
Positional Plagiocephaly, also known as Flat Head Syndrome, is when the baby lies a lot on his or her back, which causes and produces a flat head shape for the baby. When noticed at an early stage, it needs to be treated with immediate effect. Baby helmet therapy is one of the specialists methods used to correct flat head syndrome
Using helmets for babies is called “Helmet Molding Therapy”. The therapy is a means to help babies avoid funny shapes of skills, especially when it develops. Specialists always medically advised helmets in adjusting the skull tissues of the baby.
According to statistics and research, 45% of children of about 7 to 12 weeks have Positional Skull Deformity (PSD). Even amongst the 45%, 3/4 of them have but mild cases in which they could be treated and corrected.
This case of Positional Skull Deformity began in 1992 after a “Back to sleep” campaign introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This campaign introduced parents to putting their babies lay on their backs during bedtime to decrease sudden infant death.
When babies are born, it is advisable to carry out cranial exams on them to see if there’s any deformity. If we found a deformity, the doctor needs to carry out another exam to see the type of cranial deformity. Maybe the child has Craniosynostosis, or the baby has Positional Skull Deformity and no parent will want to have confusion on such delicate matter.
Cranial helmets are helmets that specialists engineers specifically designed to adjust the baby’s skull and get it to get back in good shape. This helmet actually comes as a therapy from doctors for babies and it is a comfortable helmet not meant to hurt the baby.
Many people could wonder why babies need cranial helmets. Yes, babies have a special type of helmet. These helmets treat Positional Skull Deformity. Not that babies use the helmets for sports no. They use it to shape their skulls.
Cranial helmets do not cause brain damage for your information. They made cranial helmets to treat flat head syndrome but also being comfortable to the baby. A lot of parents do not know that putting a little baby to sleep on his or her back is not really advisable.
Why so? This is also what causes Positional Skull deformity. You see young babies with flat heads and think it is normal while it is not. Babies at a gender age are not to be joked with because their bones are not yet strong, so anything can lead to a deformity with them.
These Cranial helmets mostly comprise a very strong outer shell with a foam lining on the inside. We always round the shapes of these helmets to shape the baby’s head to get its round shape back.
Cranial helmets actually are not for obligatory use. Statistics show that about 77% of plagiocephaly that have not yet reached a certain level in growth can be corrected even without the cranial helmet.
Cranial helmets vary in their price. The exact range cost for a good quality cranial helmet rangers from $1,300 to $3,000.
The act of arranging a baby’s skull without a cranial helmet is known as repositioning. We can do this because some parents fear these cranial helmets, so they prefer treating plagiocephaly without helmet since the baby’s bones are still soft so they can reshape it. The head can regain its shape
Why Parents Avoid Helmet Therapy
The subject of flat head syndrome and baby helmet therapy divided the medical community for long for a long time. Some parents look at flat head syndrome to be an issue that we can handle them with cosmetic methods while recommend specialist treatment (baby helmet therapy).
- A lot of parents do not have the idea that cranial helmets exist to ease the treatment of the flat head syndrome.
- Many parents see the cranial helmet therapy as a waste of money and time and feel that the baby’s head can gain back its shape on its own.
- Many parents do not read so they have limited knowledge on plagiocephaly and so they treat the case as a mild case
- Many parents may not be financially stable and do not have financial support, so they have no choice that find ways treating the child’s case without a helmet.
- Other parents fear that the helmets may be uncomfortable for their kids and fear pain, so they avoid these helmets.
- Parents feel the helmets can bring a little distance between themselves and their babies. They fear that if they hug their babies, they could apply more pressure on the baby so they avoid the helmets.
Baby Cranial Helmets Design
There are several types of cranial helmets designs. The list can be long but to name a few we have: the Skull and Crossbones baby helmet, the magical narwhal baby helmet, the bow-utiful baby helmet, the football star baby helmet, the melon head baby helmet just to name these few and there many more.
You can choose any of the designs for your baby so it looks cute to them. There are many ideas you could use to design your baby’s helmet. It could be cartoons, stickers, bows and many more depending how inspired you are.
They designed these helmets in round shapes to make the baby’s skull take the round shape. According to research, a baby’s skull is supposed to be round if after delivery the baby has a funny shape of head, and then visit a Doctor.
Doctors or specialists may not use baby cranial helmets for adjusting a baby’s skull. Cranial helmets can have some minor effects on the baby but they never alter in the natural growth of the baby’s head.
Our specialists usually make these cranial baby helmets of a very strong shell on the outside and on the inside, they find a comfortable foam lining. We see this foam found on the inside to have a certain amount of pressure that shapes the baby’s head back to normal.
Boy Cranial Helmet Designs
With the high rate of births in the world, the Plagiocephaly mostly affects the female babies more than the male babies.
They have specially designed helmets for either the male or female babies to fit and shape their heads. They confuse many people when trying to put on these helmets on their kids.
These Cranial helmets adjust the shapes of the baby’s heads and it also enables the male babies protect their heads. As a parent, you all know how your male babies could get rough sometimes, and these helmets help protect their head.
How to Wear Your Baby’s Cranial Helmet
First, you put your hands on opposite ends of the helmet and pull open.
- After that is done, try to adjust the ears of the baby to fit inside the ear holes and also that the forehead of the baby should be fully inside the helmet and the helmet reaching on the baby’s eyebrows.
- Try to put on the helmet on your baby without applying pain.
- Both of your baby’s ears need to be exposed and the helmet being closed behind the ears of the baby. .
- They should position the back of the helmet at the bottom of the child’s head to avoid any rotation in the helmet.
- We should balance the helmet on both ends, either on the front or the back.
- If you feel the helmet, they did not wear the helmet properly; you do not need to be scared. Remove and try again until you wear it properly.
Baby Helmet for Flat Head
Pretty sure you have come across babies wearing helmets, but have you ever wondered why? Babies wear these helmets to fix an abnormality in their head and it is mostly on babies with the flat head syndrome.
The flat head syndrome is a syndrome whereby babies’ skulls flatten at the back or at any side of the bay’s head, which deforms the baby’s head and bring stress to parents. They bought helmets in order to adjust to such abnormality.
Specialists introduced these helmets after a period in which they launched the “Back to sleep” campaign. After that period, a lot of babies began developing flat spots that called for medical intervention. Babies’ heads are very soft, so if we keep them in a position for a very long time, it affects the shape of the bay’s head.
Babies normally have fast-growing tissues, so when you notice a flat head syndrome in a baby, we advise you to use the helmet immediately. With the helmet used, the baby’s head growths and shapes back how the helmet wants it to be shaped.
Why Babies Get Cranial Helmets?
Many of you may have seen babies with helmets, but you do not know that these babies have skull abnormalities requiring the helmets. Babies wear these helmets when doctors diagnose them with some illnesses. These illnesses could be:
- Positional Skull Deformity: This is a deformity that a lot of pressure can cause on the skull of the baby, especially if the baby spends a lot of time in a particular position.
- Craniosynostosis: This is a deformity whereby the bony plates in the baby’s skull combine. The brain of a child with craniosynostosis grows but makes the skull of the baby come out abnormal. This deformity could either require surgery, which proceeds with a helmet therapy making the baby’s head and skull shape normally.
These two deformities are the principal cause of babies wearing helmets. Babies wearing helmets are not just seen as normal helmets, but are more undergoing helmet therapy. Something mostly known this as “Helmet Molding Therapy”.
Do Helmets Cause Brain Damage To The Babies?
A lot might wonder if these helmets cause brain damage to their kids, but the answer is NO, it does not cause brain damage. You may see the helmet to be strong and it will instead compress your baby’s head, but that is not the case.
Specialist engineers design these helmets are well and since designed for babies, they have a very comfortable foam lining. So the helmet which makes the baby’s head very comfortable and there is no pain perceived by the baby when on helmet therapy.
What Age Can A Baby With The Deformity Start Wearing Cranial Helmet?
Normally, doctors advised that infants with this deformity should start wearing the helmet at a tender age. That is so because the infant’s tissues are still soft so can easily adjust to normal. So it is preferable to a baby should wear the helmet within 4-6 months.
At that stage, it gently adjusts the baby’s skull and gives it its round shape back. If we bring the baby at around 8 months old, it might likely not adjust back to an early stage. It will take longer than normal to fix.
How Long Does It Take To Treat The Deformity?
The duration depends on when the baby began his or her treatment and we need to know that the way doctors or specialists treat one baby can differ from the way of another baby. Doctors can treat a baby fast and another can take a longer time.
An average period in which doctors can treat your baby is 3 months at least. Other babies could last longer than depending on what the baby needs. There are babies whom specialists can treat at 18 months, but theirs will take a lot more of time.
It is preferable to always visit your specialist so that they can carry an evaluation out on your baby to determine his or her progress. When you see the baby’s progress as a parent, you are happy. If you do not visit a specialist, the case might not be improving and you would not know, so always have appointments with your specialist.
Can You Fix a Baby’s Flat Head Deformity without a Helmet?
Truth be told, yes you can. They found such cases in approximately 77%. Specialists can adjust such, especially if the case is mild, and this case is called “Repositioning”. There are several ways to avoid helmets which are;
- Try to always practice putting your baby to lie on their stomachs in the daytime. It helps to in strengthening the baby’s neck muscles.
- Practice to regularly hold your baby, especially when they sleep. It helps with the amount of pressure applied on the baby’s head.
- Try to regularize changing the head positioning of your baby from left to right and vice versa. Do that usually.
With this article, we have passed a lot of knowledge on to parents and even the future parents. Try practicing the methods as instructed and avoid making your babies have deformities.
As a DISCLAIMER, this article is just for informational purposes. Consult a specialist or a medical doctor with your baby for better treatment.