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.
Ollie T's story
Parent(s): Sofia and Simon
Location: Leamington Spa
Oliver was born on 7 January 2005. He was two weeks early, weighed 8lb 12oz and had a very difficult delivery as he was lying back to back with mother Sofia and his face was turned towards her left leg, which resulted in him becoming stuck. One emergency C-section later and he arrived safely with what appeared to be a perfect head.
Over the next few weeks his parents noticed that Oliver favoured lying on the left side of his head, but as no one else commented on it they did not consider this unusual. It wasn't until he was about seven weeks old that a friend, looking at Oliver from across the room, asked Sofia if his head was a 'funny shape'. Sofia had to agree that it was, and when washing Oliver's hair next both she and Simon saw that the left side of Oliver's head was showing a marked flatness, and a point was starting to form behind his right ear – as though his head was being pushed sideways.
Sofia raised the issue with two health visitors and with her GP and received the same response, namely: "This is nothing to worry about, no one has a perfect head shape and once Oliver is crawling it will start to correct itself and, anyway, once his hair grows it will be hard to tell." Not being satisfied with this, his parents took Oliver to see an osteopath, who was quite concerned that his tendency to lie on one side was creating a problem in his neck, as well as with his head shape. The osteopath worked on this, as well as advising Sofia about repositioning.
Oliver spent a lot of time being turned in the night, having toys waggled at him in the street to get him to look over his right shoulder, and being propped up with pillows and foam in an attempt to correct the flatness. During this time he started to find it easier to turn his head, but the flatness appeared to be getting worse.
Simon found reference to plagiocephaly and Headstart4Babies on the internet, and when Oliver's GP said he knew nothing about it they decided to make an initial appointment. Dr Blecher found that Oliver had an asymmetry of 20mm, and that the width and length of his head were the same. A helmet was recommended and Oliver was cast that day (a process he did not enjoy, but it was over very quickly!). Two weeks later he was fitted, and took to the helmet without any trouble, managing to sleep like a baby all night! He has not had any problems with the helmet or with other people's reactions to it.
After just four weeks of wearing the helmet, Oliver's asymmetry has reduced by half to 10mm, and the length of his head now measures 7mm more than the width, which is fantastic progress. Dr Blecher said that if Oliver were to come to the clinic with his head as it is now, he would not recommend the helmet treatment, and he believes that Oliver may only need to wear the helmet for another six weeks – not bad considering the initial estimate was that it would need to be worn for at least four months! Simon and Sofia are thrilled with the treatment and Oliver's progress, and cannot praise the helmet enough!
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