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Why does my baby need a helmet?

Posted by on Jan. 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM
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The helmets are not just cosmetic: if these conditions are severe enough and left untreated it can lead to possible vision and hearing loss, as well as, difficulty eating.

Due to the recommendation that babies sleep on their backs or sides to lower the risk of SIDS in 1992, many infants are developing abnormal shapes of the head. Misshapened heads are also caused from pressure from the uterus, torticollis, c-spine deformities, as well as, premies that have extended ICU stays. There are three common conditions: plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly.

Plagiocephaly (rhomboid shaped head) is the most common of these conditions, and refers to an irregular assymmetrical shape of the head from repeated pressure to the same area.


Brachycephaly refers to an abnormally broad head, where the length of the head is shortened from front to back.

Scaphocephaly refers to a boat shaped head.


These conditions are generally treated by positioning first, and if not sucessful, a helmet as well. The reason the helmet works is because it provides pressure to the bulging areas and helps the flattened areas round out as the baby's head grows. The sooner the helmet is worn, the better. At about 6 months, head growth slows down significantly and usually fuse by 12-18 months. The length of time that each baby wears the helmet varies depending on the severity of the irregularity, the age in which the helmet is introduced, and how many hours a day your sweetie spends in it. Generally though, helmets are worn for 23 hours a day for about 3-6 months, only being taken off for a bath, and to observe if there is too much pressure in any one area of their head from growth. The more often you have your sweetie wear it the sooner it will be off.


by on Jan. 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM
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