Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly have both been successfully treated with helmets for many years. Discover some treatment success stories below – simply click a child’s name from the list on the left to view their story.
Parent(s): Claire and Roger
James insisted on making his presence felt even before he arrived, causing mum Claire to suffer high blood pressure, swollen hands, feet and face and, eventually, pre-eclampsia. He was induced and delivered very easily ten days early and weighed 7lb 10oz. There were no complications and Claire and James were discharged the next day.
It was around four to five months before the misshapen head was noticed and considered to be worth reviewing with the local GP. However, the GP was not overly concerned, and his attitude was: 'Do nothing, wait and see – it will probably sort itself out. If not, his hair will cover it!' Unsurprisingly, James's parents found this approach unacceptable.
A local health visitor put Claire and Roger in contact with a family whose baby was two months into treatment using a helmet. The baby's progress was staggering and – naturally after some initial worries of how they would cope with it – James's parents opted for the same course of treatment.
James's asymmetry was measured at 18mm, with a prominent flat spot at the back of the head on the left-hand side. After six weeks of wearing the helmet the asymmetry was reduced to 10mm, with Claire and Roger hoping for 6-7mm asymmetry to be confirmed at the next consultation.
Visually, James now has a round head. Claire and Roger are delighted with his progress and expect that when the treatment is complete the asymmetry will be negligible – certainly undetectable to the eye. The helmet does draw the attention of passers by – some ask questions, some smile sympathetically and some, unfortunately, draw their own, incorrect conclusion.
There is one other major positive aspect to the helmet. Now that James is learning to walk it offers great protection. He simply is not bothered about his helmet – in fact he misses it when it comes off for an hour and, however cliched it may sound, it has become a part of the family's everyday life.
Claire and Roger's message to any parent facing similar concerns is to gain consultation as early as possible.
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