Helmet therapy sometimes referred to as cranial orthosis, helmet orthosis, or helmet molding therapy is a way of shaping a baby’s head. Due to the fact that newborns’ cranial sutures are not fused, helmets might assist in modifying the form of the skull. Around the age of four months to one year, molding helmets are beneficial.
Between the ages of four and six months, wearing a helmet may be more helpful than in later months. During this time period, the form of the skull may alter due to the use of a helmet. Later in life, particularly after one year of age, helmet therapy may be ineffective because the skull grows tougher and begins to fuse.
Helmet therapy is included in aesthetic procedures since the form of the head does not create developmental issues or brain damage.
What causes infants to have “flat head syndrome”?
A flat spot can develop at delivery as your baby travels through the birth canal or when they sleep in the same position or rest their head in their bouncer or car seat for extended periods of time. Their cranium is composed of flexible soft plates. While this is advantageous for providing ample space for their developing brain, it also means that a baby’s head may change shape relatively readily. However, do not be alarmed; having a flat area is not harmful to your baby’s brain.
Certain parents feel terrible when they discover their infant needs a helmet, believing it might have been avoided. However, most newborns’ skulls are not perfectly round, and little lumps, bumps, and flat patches are quite acceptable.
How long must infants wear helmets?
Helmets might assist in resolving flat areas or bumps if your pediatrician recommends them. When used before the age of six months, medical helmets for newborns are quite beneficial. And they continue to operate rather effectively between six and nine months.
Helmets are rarely used when a baby reaches the age of 12 months.
If your baby does require a helmet, they will most likely wear it for 23 hours a day, typically for two to four months. Your pediatrician should inspect it often and modify it as necessary to accommodate your baby’s growing head shape.
It’s critical to keep in mind that these helmets can be costly, and insurance may not always cover the cost of a helmet treatment plan.
Is it truly important for infants to wear helmets?
When we see a small infant wearing a helmet, we naturally question if it’s unpleasant or uncomfortable for them. This should not be the case. However, it might appear intense when they wear a helmet for several months at a time. As a result, it’s reasonable to wonder if these helmets are truly essential and whether there are other therapy choices available.
Your doctor may recommend repositioning procedures, physical or occupational therapy, or just allowing your baby’s skull to naturally correct flat regions.