Frequently asked questions

How does the helmet work?

The helmet is moulded to the exact shape of the baby’s head in order to correct the specific deformity. It fits snugly where the head shape is regular and leaves space where the head needs to round out. As the baby’s head develops, the helmet channels the growth into the areas which need it.

Will the helmet stop my baby’s head growing?

Not at all. Treatment time is usually less than six months, during which time the baby’s overall head size would not in any case increase dramatically. Regular check-ups enable any tightness to be reduced by hollowing out the helmet’s lining.

Will the helmet affect my baby’s personality?

Experience to date indicates that babies adjust very quickly to wearing the helmet. They may take a couple of days to get used to having the helmet on permanently, but after a period of wriggling and head shaking will soon forget that it is there at all.

Are there any side-effects?

There are no serious side-effects. In the first couple of weeks, you will probably notice that your baby’s head sweats profusely (especially in the summer), but this will settle down. The golden rule is to dress your baby more lightly than usual, and to avoid hats and caps for the period of the treatment. It is possible that your baby may develop areas of dry skin, redness or slight bruising during the first few weeks. Frequent moisturising with E45 cream should reduce the dry skin, while any long-lasting redness or bruising should be checked by the specialist.

How much does the treatment cost?

Treatment in the UK costs around £2,000.

Is treatment available on the NHS?

Our understanding is that this treatment is not widely available on the NHS because GPs and health visitors believe that the condition can be solved by the head ‘rounding out’ with growth and the thickening of the hair. We have, however, heard that a number of babies in the north east of England and Bristol with severe plagiocephaly have been treated on the NHS. This service is sporadic at best, and indicates a certain ‘postcode lottery’.

Will the helmet stop my baby’s hair growing?

No, quite the opposite! Although we have heard of the odd bald patch developing inside the helmet (all of which have quickly grown over again), our experience is that the helmet actually stimulates hair growth.

How do I Gift Aid my donation to Headstart4Babies?

All donations made through our JustGiving page or via JustTextGiving are automatically Gift Aided. Alternatively, on request we can email or post you a straightforward Gift Aid form for you to complete and return to us. We then forward it to the Inland Revenue and receive the Gift Aid refund from them.

How do I start fundraising for my baby’s treatment?

Find out how you can start raising funds for your baby’s treatment with our guidelines and tips.

Find out more

Do I qualify for funding for my baby’s treatment?

Complete our online financial assessment form for consideration by our trustees.

Apply for funding