Plagiocephaly & Cranial Helmets

Does my baby need a cranial helmet?
Plagiocephaly helmet Melbourne service
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The decision whether to fit your baby with a cranial remoulding helmet is by no means an easy task and can tug at a parent’s emotional heartstrings.

Some parents are hesitant about treating plagiocephaly and brachycephaly as it is considered to be cosmetic rather than a medical issue and therefore choose not to opt for helmet treatment in the knowledge that the deformity may not fully self-correct.

On the other hand, some parents choose to see an orthotist who provides helmet treatment to potentially give greater improvement than would happen without intervention.

Plagiocephaly cranial helmet Melbourne Australia
Isla's plagiocephaly cranial helmet

Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly became more frequent after the public health campaign ‘Back to Sleep’ was introduced to reduce the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents in Australia. Placing your baby on their back to sleep is a recommendation that has largely contributed to an 80% reduction in SIDS deaths since the 1990s and is still recommended.

plagiocephaly brachycephaly
Plagiocephaly & Brachycephaly

baby cranial plagiocephaly parents clinicians
Image courtesy of Invent Medical

Approximately 3% of infants have an asymmetrical head shape, such as positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, and need a cranial remoulding helmet.

Many parents choose to undergo helmet therapy after repositioning and physiotherapy for one to two months without success.

For moderate and severe cases of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, there is a limit to how much can be achieved through repositioning alone and many head shapes are so severe that they will never catch up naturally.

Orthotic treatment using a helmet is an effective solution for severe asymmetrical and flat head shapes. Wearing a cranial remoulding helmet allows the head to become more symmetrical when its growth is guided in the right direction through the effect of the helmet.

plagiocephaly baby head diagram
Image courtesy of Invent Medical

plagiocephaly helmet baby pink
Image courtesy of Invent Medical

Our helmets are all custom made to your baby’s specifications.

Made with a hard outer shell and soft foam inner lining, they are lightweight, breathable and thin to improve comfort so your baby will soon forget they are wearing a helmet!

The colour and pattern of the helmet can be customised to match your little one’s personality.

The best time to start helmet treatment is between the age of 4 to 14 months of age with average duration of treatment being 4.5 months.

plagiocephaly 3d scanning baby helmet
Image courtesy of Invent Medical

At Massons, we can assess the severity of your baby’s head shape asymmetry using both traditional assessment techniques combined with a high precision 3D scan to accurately capture the shape of your baby’s head.

Together with the parent’s involvement, we can jointly decide upon the most appropriate treatment path and can recommend you to other health care providers if needed to compliment helmet treatment.

Should you have any questions regarding treatment using a cranial remoulding helmet or to arrange an appointment, please reach out to our clinicians at Massons Healthcare.

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