Treatment of deformational plagiocephaly and other cranial deformities is available through the use of a cranial reshaping helmet. A helmet will be prescribed if our doctor feels that your child's head shape shows moderate to severe changes.
Some infants with mild deformational plagiocephaly will improve on their own. Infants who do not improve should begin helmet therapy between 4 to 8 months of age, although 5 to 6 months is the optimal time frame for the best results. If you choose not to pursue helmet therapy, your child's current head shape will most likely remain the same. Occasionally, it may improve or worsen slightly depending on positioning and your baby's age.
Helmet therapy works by making a custom fit helmet for each child. A laser scan will be taken of your baby's head, which will be used to develop the mold for his or her helmet. As your baby's brain grows, the skull is slowly pushed into the open areas inside of the helmet, producing a rounding of the skull. The process is gradual, safe and pain free.
Helmet therapy does not cause headaches or hair loss. Most children adjust to the helmet in a few days. There are little or no side effects. The helmet can be warm, making your baby's head sweat. Occasionally, skin irritations can occur. Frequent cleansing and break periods can resolve this problem.
The length of helmet therapy varies for each child. Generally, three to four months will be needed to obtain an adequate change in head shape. The average length of helmet therapy is four to six months. Your management of the helmet therapy and commitment to using the helmet directly influences the results.
Forehead problems are often not corrected with helmet therapy. Helmet therapy will not change the position of ears or cheekbones.