If an infant’s skull is malformed, they should wear a helmet from four months to one year. When a newborn is examined by a pediatrician, the circumference and form of the baby’s skull may be measured. If a significant flat region is discovered, helmet therapy may be recommended. It should ideally be finished while the child is between the ages of 4-6 months. The soft regions, such as fontanels and ridges, such as sutures, in a baby’s skull, are still flexible, and the cranial bones have not fused. The cranial sutures will begin to merge as the baby grows, and the shape of the skull will become more difficult to change.
What Are the Reasons for a Baby’s Helmet Use?
The purpose of cranial helmets for babies is to correct their skull shape. Because a baby’s skull is fragile, it is typical for it to flatten out when lying down on its back for long periods. A flat skull, on the other hand, can be caused by a hereditary disorder. Helmet therapy is effective for the following conditions:
Plagiocephaly, often known as a flat head syndrome, occurs when one side of a baby’s head flattens out due to constant pressure. When a baby lays on its back for long periods, soṃệẗḧing happens to the rear of the skull. Positional plagiocephaly is the medical term for this disorder. It’s fairly frequent because the αмєяι¢αn Academy of Paediatrics recommends lying a baby on its back as the safest resting posture.
Helmet therapy is usually advised when severe deformity has not improved despite other treatment options because plagiocephaly has little effect on the baby’s brain development. In situations with plagiocephaly, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons recommends physical therapy or constantly moving the baby’s position.
Craniosynostosis is a condition that occurs when a baby’s cranial bones fuse prematurely. It’s possible that this is a genetic condition. Because of the odd structure of the skull, craniosynostosis can hinder brain growth.
Unevenly shaped skulls, aberrant head growth, a soft spot on the baby’s head, migraines, learning problems, eyesight loss, or broad or narrow eye sockets are symptoms of this illness. Craniosynostosis is treated surgically and afterward with helmet therapy.
When Should a Baby Wear a Helmet?
After a year, a baby’s skull begins to solidify, and the helmet will no longer be beneficial in gently moulding the skull. Between the ages of 4-6 months, it is suggested that the baby wear a cranial helmet. During your child’s infancy, your pediatrician will recommend this medication during your visits every two months following birth.
How long does it take for helmet therapy to work?
Helmet therapy typically lasts three months. However, depending on the severity of the baby’s condition, it may take longer or shorter. A visit to the pediatrician every two months throughout infancy is suggested, during which the diameter of the skull is measured. If they discover a flat region that needs to be addressed, they will offer helmet therapy. It is given to babies between the ages of four months and one year, although it is most beneficial when the baby is between four and six months. When a child reaches age, their skull begins to stiffen, rendering the helmet useless.